THN’s Take: In a sloppily played, sloppily goaltended contest, the Lightning proved they still had enough fight in them to send the series back to Boston for Game 7. Tampa’s heart-and-soul – otherwise known as Martin St-Louis – led the way once again for his team and the line he played on (also comprised of Steven Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier) combined for three goals and eight points on the night. Secondary scoring was also a positive for the Bolts, who benefitted from solid outings by Teddy Purcell and Steve Downie. The Bruins never fell completely out of the picture during the game, but once again, their power play was anything but effective, going 1-for-5 (Tampa, meanwhile, went 3-for-4 with the man advantage). Tim Thomas will need to be much better for Boston in Game 7, but so will the Bolts’ Dwayne Roloson.
1. Martin St-Louis - Vincent Lecavalier might wear the ‘C’ in Tampa Bay, but St-Louis is the straw that stirs the Lightning’s drink. Seemed to impose his will when the Bruins threatened to shake the Bolts’ confidence.
2. David Krejci - Netted his first career playoff hat trick and just as importantly, an actual Bruins power play goal. He and Milan Lucic were Boston’s biggest threats on offense.
3. Teddy Purcell - Two more goals for a guy turning out to be one of the revelations of the playoffs. Hard to believe, but he was acquired from the Kings for a 16-game rental of veteran Jeff Halpern and the Bolts also got a third-round pick!
The Black Hole
Tim Thomas - Don’t get us wrong, there were other factors as to why the Bruins lost a chance to eliminate the Lightning, including that anemic power play as well as a relatively ineffective night from Zdeno Chara. But Thomas surrendered five goals on just 26 Tampa shots. Although he has been spectacular in helping the Bruins get this far, another performance like that in the deciding game of the series will erase a decent amount of great work.
The NHL Game Night Recap will get you caught up with all the playoff action. THN will name our Three Stars for each game and tabulate the results after each series. First Star = three points, Second Star = two points, Third Star = one point.