By: Jeff Playdon | Follow me on Twitter @PlaydonJeff
Game six is here, and the Bruins have a 3-2 series lead. After defeating Tampa in Game Five, the series has resumed at the St. Pete Times Forum. If the Bruins could win tonight, they would face the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup Finals. In game sixes, when the Bruins are up 3-2 in the series, they are 18-4 all time. Unlike game five, Dwyane Roloson would get the start back in net for Tampa, while Tim Thomas would start in net for Boston. With a chance for the Bruins to move on to the Stanley Cup finals, this means everything to Boston fans.
Bruins Lead after One
The puck was dropped, and just 36 seconds in, Teddy Purcell scored to make it 1-0. Purcell ripped a blistering wrist shot off the faceoff shot by Thomas, and Boston found themselves in an early hole. The Bruins didn’t let the early goal put them down, as seven minutes later, Milan Lucic tied it up at one. Lucic received a pass from Nathan Horton in the middle of the neutral zone, and Lucic let it fly by Roloson. 27 seconds later, the Bruins had a quick opportunity to make it 2-1. Ryan Malone was going to the box for tripping. Only two shots came from the powerplay, and it was back to even strength.
Four minutes later, the Bruins were getting another chance to take the lead as Eric Brewer was going to the box for tripping. Tampa Bay never let Boston get set up on the powerplay, killing off another penalty. While the powerplay didn’t produce the go-ahead goal for Boston, David Krejci’s goal did. 1:13 after the Lightning killed off the penalty, Daniel Paille found a wide-open Krejci in front of Roloson, and Krejci ripped it past Roloson. Boston was now ahead 2-1. The last 3:30 ticked away, and after 20 minutes of play, Boston led Tampa 2-1.
Lightning Rebound with Big Second Period
Just 1:52 into the second period, the Bruins were going on their third powerplay of the game. Victor Hedman was heading to the box for high-sticking, and the Bruins had a great chance to make it 3-1. The same story repeated itself as Tampa once again killed off another penalty. Four minutes later, it would be Tampa Bay going on their first powerplay of the night. Seidenberg was called for cross-checking, and Tampa looked to tie the game. It took the Lightning just 16 seconds on the powerplay to find the back of the net, and the game was tied.
Martin St. Louis found a bouncing puck in front of Thomas, and St. Louis hammered it by Thomas. Just as Tampa built momentum, it quickly vanished away as just eight seconds after they tied the game, Eric Brewer was heading to the box for interference. The Bruins had a quality opportunity to retake the lead. The fourth powerplay opportunity for Boston couldn’t produce a goal, and Boston was now 0/4 on powerplays.
Penalties were a hot topic in this period as just 1:49 later, Rich Peverly went to the box for interference. Now it was Tampa Bay with a quality chance to take the lead in game six. As the powerplay was approaching its final seconds, Tampa Bay scored to take a 3-2 lead. Purcell, who scored the game’s first goal, scored the go-ahead goal for the Lightning. Tampa Bay had momentum, and the Forum was rocking. As the period was approaching the final 60 seconds, Andrew Ference was going off for cross-checking, and the Lightning now looked to make it 4-2. The first 55 seconds of the powerplay didn’t produce a Tampa Bay goal, and the second period was over. After the Bruins had a one-goal lead going into the second, the Lightning had a one-goal lead going into the third with 1:05 left on their powerplay.
Lightning hold on and Win Game 6
The last 20 minutes of regulation was underway, and just 34 seconds into the period Tampa Bay cashed in on the powerplay. Stamkos hammered a one-timer past Thomas, and the Lightning now led 4-2. Tampa Bay had three powerplays in the game, and they cashed in on everyone. 6:58 into the third, Boston continued to shoot themselves in the foot. Tomas Kaberle was heading to the box for interference, and Tampa looked to take a commanding 5-2 lead. Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lecavalier made a costly mistake 1:14 into the powerplay when he was called for hooking, and it was going to be 4-on-4 for 46 seconds with a Boston powerplay to follow. Shortly after 4-on-4 play, David Krejci scored on the powerplay, and Boston cut the Tampa lead to one. It was Krejci’s second goal of the game and Boston’s first goal while on the powerplay.
You would think Krejci’s goal would have given Boston momentum, but instead, Martin St. Louis scored 29 seconds later, and Tampa regained a two-goal lead. A 2-on-1 breakaway led to Downie forcing Thomas to come out of the crease, and Downie passed it to a wide-open St. Louis for the goal. David Krejci wasn’t letting Boston go down without putting up a fight, though. 3:13 after Martin St. Louis’s goal, Krejci scored his third goal of the game for the hat trick, and the Tampa lead was cut to one again. The Bruins had 6:32 left to tie the game or even eliminate Tampa to move on to the Stanley Cup Final.
After Krejci’s goal, the Bruins were applying pressure to Roloson getting quality time in the Tampa Bay zone, but it was still 5-4 Tampa with five minutes remaining. With 4:12 remaining in the game, Brad Marchand was getting help skating to the bench after getting hit by a Tampa player. Not a good sight for a Bruins fan. The last 80 seconds of regulation arrived, and Tim Thomas was pulled for the extra man. Tampa Bay’s defense continued to send the puck out of the zone, and Tampa Bay held on to win game six.
Other than the hat trick for David Krejci, there weren’t many positives for the Bruins. Tampa Bay scored three powerplay goals out of the four powerplays they got. On the other hand, Boston had five powerplay opportunities and only scored on one of them, thanks to David Krejci. After Brad Marchand was helped to the bench with a noticeable limp, he didn’t get back on the ice, and it was uncertain if he’d be able to play in game seven. The almighty game seven would be on May 27th at T.D Garden, with the winning team moving on to the Stanley Cup Final.