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Tampa Bay vs. Boston Game 3 live blog

by Shawn P. Roarke
20:00 That's it. Boston survives two minutes of 6-on-5 hockey -- Roloson pulled with 2:099 left -- and take a 2-0 victory in Game 3 to take 2-1 lead in series. What an interesting game. See you back here Saturday afternoon.

Last TV timeout of the game. Tampa is making serious plans for a final charge. Bruins will have to weather next minute without breaking. If Lightning can get a goal with more than a minute left, things will get extremely interesting here. Faceoff in Boston end by the way.

Boston appears to be becoming more comfortable with Tampa's defensive schemes. Key appears to be to make smart decisions at center redline. If no play is there, just get it in Deep upon reaching line and let forwards chase. Tampa has had trouble dealing with Boston's size and tenacity on the forecheck. Plus, the lack of turnovers in the neutral zone has really blunted Tampa Bay's counter-attack game. they have Had to work extra hard for scoring opportunities in this game.

How good is rookie Tyler Seguin? So good that he was credited with the Anmdrew Ference goal despite never seemingly touching it. It appears his stick is a few feet from the puck. Chris Kelly was more likely to have gotten a stick on it, but it looks like a Ference goal for sure. If so, Seguin should get secondary assist. That still gives him a point in three-straight playoff games -- the only three Playoff games of his life.

Boston in penalty trouble now with Boston's Zdeno Chara, one of their toip killers in the box for hooking. Lightning have already had two good chances on the PP, including a  golden opportunity by a hard-charging St. Louis at the start. St. Louis has been strangely silent for much of the game.

8:12 Boston's consistent forecheck finally paid dividends. After Boston's first line kept the puck in with a good cycle, Milan Lucic dumped it in deep as he was going for a change so Boston could maintain control through the line change. eventually puck amde its way to right point and Andrew Ference unloaded a seeing-eye slapper that eluded traffic and trickled through 5-hole before crossing goal line. The puck never even reached the back of the net. Goal, BOS 2-0.

This is as aggressive as Tim Thomas has been in this round. He is constantly way above the blue paint in his crease, challengers shootersto beat him. Nobody has done it yet. Credit Boston's D, as well, which has cleared out a wider swath of ice around the crease than in first two games. Thomas just stopped a Marc-Andre Bergeron slapper and when he caught it, he was at the bottom of faceoff circles.

Start of third period

End of second period. BOS 1, TBL 0; Shots: BOS 20, TBL 16

The Boston Bruins just played an almost perfect road period, sucking the life out of this building and generating the majority of the chance. Tampa bay had just 6 shots in second and 2 of those came on PP. Boston has done admirable job of slowing Tampa down in transition. Lightning are not gaining eaqsy access into the offensive zone like in first two games.

16:55 Patrice Bergeron was just put out to center fourth ine because it was an offensive-zone draw. Not only did Bergeron wijn the draw, but the line had a serious cycle going and then Bergeron drew a hooking penalty on Eric Brewer as  Bergeron went hard to the net. Boston has not had good looks on first two PPs.

Pace is picking up a little now and both goalies have had to make big saves in last few minutes. Tim Thomas made two huge saves on PK, especially a toe save on vinny Lecavalier on a low slapper through traffic. Roloson just answered with a great save on Peverley.

Boston fourth-liner Daniel Paille doesn't get much notice, but he is so solid for Bruins -- especially on PK. He just had two dominant kill shifts while Brad Marchand was in the box for high sticking. On the first one, his aggressiveness in chasing the puck forced Tampa Bay into an icing situation.

Tampa gets its first PP chance of the night as Brad Marchand goes hard to the Tampa net, but high sticks a deFenseman in the process.

This is more what was expected Of this series as the second period is as much of a chess match as we have seen. Neither team is getting good transition and neutral zone has become more of a minefield for both sides. Lots of good board battles, though.

Boston has avoided disaster it seems. David Krejci, dazed by a Marc-Andre Bergeron hit late in the first, took his regular shift in the first minute of the second period. On the first shift of the period, Patrice Bergeron had a chance to put Boston up 2-0, but Roloson made a nice save going from his left to right to follow pass by mark Recchi.

Start of second period

End of first period. BOS 1, TBL 0; Shots: BOS 8, TBL 10

Vinny Lecavalier had a chance with a few seconds left, but Tim Thomas tracked it through traffic and kicked it away just before period ended. It was a good road period for the Bruins, who were out-shot 10-8, but lead 1-0. By the way, Krejci did not play in final 2:30 of the period and Boston had just one shot on the PP after his hit.

Scary moment for Bruins here. David Krejci was just unloaded on by Marc-Andre Bergeron at center ice as he played a pass out of his own end. Bergeron called for elbow on a hit that was up high and left Krejci clearly in distress. Krejci stayed on one knee for several seconds after the hit before getting up and skating to bench. Boston gets its first power play after going 2-for-4 last game.

Patrice Bergeron is already having an impact in his return. He has won 4 of 5 faceoffs and Boston is dominating in that department for fourth-straight period. home team is supposed to have significant advantage because they put stick down last, but not so far in this game.

We're into the series now. Serious net-front scrums at both ends as bile starts to rise. Simon Gagne of all people just tangled with Gregory Campbell afetr Campbell chased his own shot from the circle. Bot get roughing penalties in altercation.

It appears Tampa Bay has weathered early storm. They have had the past three scoring chances and are starting to put Bruins under Pressure on the rush.

Tim Thomas just had to make his first big saves of the night and they were beauties. First he denied a tester from Teddy Purcell and then got his leg out to deny Vinny Lecavalier on the rebound. Quick reaction saves both and a good start for a guY that was a difference-maker in third period of Game 2.

The run of quick goals continues in this series as David Krejci scores just 69 seconds into the game for Boston, who allowed a goal just 13 seconds into Game 2. Krejci was all alone in the slot after a pass from Milan Lucic out of the corner and he had a full second to make moves before getting Dwayne Roloson to commit. At that point, he just shoveled the puck past a sprawled Roloson. Tampa Bay talked about defensive structure for past 48 hours, yet that was huge own-zone breakdown. Goal, BOS 1-0

8:04 p.m.
Tampa Bay owner Jeff Vinnik was on with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman during Bettman's weekly NHL Hour show. In a lengthy discussion, Vinnik credited "world-class people" with orchestrating the club's rapid turnaround this season. Colleague Brian Hunter has a story on the discussion, which you can read here.

8:01 p.m.
Tampa Bay has also made a change in its lineup. Blair Jones is in and randy Jones is out, meaning that Lightning have gone with 12 forwards for the first time this round. There was a chance that center Dana Tyrell would be ready to play tonight, but he was scratched again.

7:30 p.m.
Bruins goit exceptional news this evening as Patrice Bergeron will play in Game 3. Boston coach Claude Julien said Thursday morning that if Bergeron took warmups, he would be in the game and Bergeron is running drills with second-line mates Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi. It appears that Shawn Thornton is the odd-man out and Rich Peverley will slide down to the fourth line and play with greg Campbell and Daniel Paille
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