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Bruins-Lightning Game 3 preview 05.19.11 at 2:10 am ET
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TAMPA ‘€“ The Bruins can pick up their third straight road win and first series lead of the Eastern Conference finals with a Game 3 win Thursday at St. Pete Times Forum. The B’s might have momentum on their side, as they took a high-scoring contest Tuesday in defeating Tampa, 6-5. With the number three in mind, here’€™s a preview of Thursday’s game:

Three things the Bruins need to do:

Keep Ryding the hot duo: Whether or not Patrice Bergeron returns to the lineup, any shakeup should not include a separation of Tyler Seguin and Michael Ryder. The two have totaled five goals thus far in the series, and their chemistry is evident. The Lightning will try to be more physical to knock the rookie off his game, but Seguin simply needs to show that these games have given him more confidence. Expect him to stay with Ryder and Chris Kelly in Game 3.

Extend the power play success: Who said this team stunk on the man advantage? Two goals in Game 2 (one of which came with one second remaining after the team failed to score on a 5-on-3) matched their postseason production on the power play entering the night, and there are certainly encouraging nights. Tomas Kaberle played better on the man advantage Tuesday, while Seguin was finally given the opportunity to contribute on special teams and did.

- Tighten it up: As much as Bruins fans can get on board with watching Tim Thomas come up big on multiple breakaway bids, the B’€™s would just rather they not happen at all. The Bruins could have had a much better defensive effort on Tuesday, and correcting it will lower the number of quality opportunities for the Lightning.

Three crazy stats:

– By scoring three goals on Dwayne Roloson Tuesday, the Bruins bumped the Lightning netminder out of the top spot in postseason goals against average and save percentage. The leader in both those categories now? Carey Price, who posted a 2.11 GAA and .934 in the first round against the B’€™s.

– The Bruins are 0-2 in games this postseason in which Nathan Horton fails to register a shot on goal. They’€™re 9-2 when he has at least one. Horton leads the B’€™s with 13 points, and his 34 shots on goal are second to Bergeron among forwards.

– Only two Bruins players have a minus-3 rating over the last three games. Those two players would be Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi. Think they’€™d like to get Bergeron back?

Three key players:

Patrice Bergeron: As fun as the Seguin Show was to watch on Tuesday, the Bruins aren’€™t kidding themselves here. They need Bergeron back, and after taking contact he could return to the lineup for one of the games in Tampa. Whether that happens remains to be seen.

Dwayne Roloson: The Tampa goaltender was not as bad as the numbers were on Tuesday, but it will be interesting to see how he responds to being chased for the first time this postseason.

Johnny Boychuk: The 27-year-old has goals in two of his last three games, but he was positively wretched in Game 2. Boychuk’€™s sloppiness resulted in a minus-3 rating that would have been worse had the puck he accidentally banked off the skate of Kaberle in front of the net gone in. He ended up playing only 16:06, his lowest time on ice total this postseason.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Chris Kelly, Dwayne Roloson, Johnny Boychuk
Barry Melrose on M&M: Shawn Thornton deserves to be in lineup 05.18.11 at 4:12 pm ET
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ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose joined the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday afternoon to talk about the Bruins’ 6-5 victory in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday night. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Melrose was quick to compliment the play of Bruins rookie center Tyler Seguin, who tallied four points (two goals, two assists) in Game 2.

“He certainly rode over the horizon at the right time on his white horse because Boston needed a spark and Seguin, in the last two games, has given Boston a spark,” Melrose said.

Seguin, who scored only 11 goals in the regular season, patiently waited for his opportunity and took full advantage of it in crunch time.

“He’€™s done everything right,” Melrose said. The kid’€™s kept his mouth shut. He’€™s never complained. He’€™s never gotten his agent involved. He’€™s never gone to the press. And when he got a chance to play in Game 1, bang, he was great. And then in Game 2, when they put him on the power play, bang, he scored.

“That’€™s what he has to do. He’€™s letting his actions speak for himself, and now Claude [Julien] has to play him. And the kid doesn’€™t hurt you defensively, he competes. Is he going to win the Selke award? No. But the guy who wins the Selke isn’€™t going to make the plays that Seguin is making either.”

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Read More: Barry Melrose, Claude Julien, Patrice Bergeron, Rick Middleton
Shawn McEachern on D&C: Bruins ‘just don’t have another player’ with skill of Tyler Seguin at 8:24 am ET
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Former Bruin Shawn McEachern appeared on the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to talk about the Eastern Conference finals, which the Bruins evened up with a 6-5 victory over the Lightning in Game 2 Tuesday night. McEachern, a Waltham native who went on to star at Boston University and win a Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 1992, now coaches the hockey team at The Rivers School in Weston. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Bruins held on Tuesday night in a high-scoring affair, a game in which no lead appeared to be safe. “This whole year in the playoffs, all around the league, nobody’s been able to hold a lead,” McEachern said. “It’s been great to watch. It looks like hockey back in the ’80s, when Wayne Gretzky was scoring 90 goals.”

McEachern didn’t predict a winner, but he said the series appears destined to last for a while. “I think it’s going to be a long series. I think it’s a six- or seven-game series,” he said. “I hope it’s high-scoring like last night, because it’s an awful lot of fun to watch.”

Bruins rookie Tyler Seguin exploded with two goals and two assists in Game 2 after scoring a goal in his postseason debut in Game 1. However, McEachern said he had no problem with coach Claude Julien sitting Seguin for the first two rounds of the playoffs.

“He’s a 19-year-old kid,” McEachern said. “Probably the biggest thing that helped Tyler Seguin was sitting upstairs and watching the first 11 games of the playoffs. The game really slows down for you. He probably really figured it out a little bit.

“The other side is there’s no expectations on him when he comes back into the lineup. He wasn’t going to be the game-breaker they needed. They were hoping they’d get something out of him, but he played only nine minutes in the first game.”

Added McEachern: “I think the thing with Seguin is that he brings something that the Bruins don’t have. That high-end speed and skill, they just don’t have another player like that.”

Read More: Claude Julien, Shawn McEachern, Tyler Seguin,
Video: Bruins beat Lightning in Game 2 at 1:35 am ET
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Read More: Brad Marchand, Mark Recchi, Tim Thomas, Tyler Seguin
Tyler Seguin is on the right end of the learning curve at 12:53 am ET
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Following one of the most stunning playoff performances by a rookie in Bruins history, 19-year-old Tyler Seguin took it all in stride. Seguin, playing in just his second playoff game after the concussion to Patrice Bergeron at the end of the second round, took over and amazed the TD Garden crowd with a second period performance for the ages.

“It’€™s definitely tough watching from above,” Seguin said of his vantage point as a healthy scratch from the press box in the first two rounds. “I try to take everything in and learn as much as I can, but it’€™s hard sitting there and not being able to help the boys. I wanted to take advantage of every opportunity I got.”

After scoring a goal and an assist his first playoff opportunity in Game 1 Saturday night, Seguin took over in the second period with the Bruins down, 2-1. He scored the first of his two second-period goals 48 seconds in to tie the game. He would add another goal while setting up both of Michael Ryder‘s second-period tallies.

“I think it’€™s just the learning curve,” Seguin said. “It’€™s been a whole learning curve all year. As the year went on, I’€™ve felt more confident and more poised. In big games, I always want to step up. Tonight, I had some lucky bounces, but I was trying to take advantage of all the opportunities and they were going in tonight.”

And to think he was snubbed by the mighty Canadian World Junior team in 2010, presumably because the coaching and development staff didn’t think he was ready to put his talent all together on the world stage. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Boston Bruins, NHL, Tampa Bay Lightning
Tyler Seguin lights up Lightning, Bruins tie series 05.17.11 at 10:57 pm ET
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By DJ Bean and Scott McLaughlin

It was the Tyler Seguin Show Tuesday, as the rookie had a four-point showing in a 6-5 Bruins win over the Lightning at the TD Garden that tied the Eastern Conference finals at one game apiece.

Seguin scored two goals, tying the game 48 seconds into the second period, and giving the B’s a 4-2 lead at 6:30 of the second. Michael Ryder also had two goals for the Bruins, both of which were assisted by Seguin. Nathan Horton and David Krejci also scored for the Bruins. Horton and Krejci are now tied for the team lead with six goals this postseason.

The B’s chased Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson after two periods and six goals. It was the first time this postseason that Roloson allowed more than three goals. Tampa got its scoring from Adam Hall, Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos and Dominic Moore. They came back from a 6-3 deficit to make it 6-5 in the third, but in the end Tim Thomas and the Bruins held on.

The teams now travel to Tampa, where they will play Games 3 and 4 before returning to Boston next week for Game 5.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– Everyone knew Seguin had all the talent in the world, but nobody expected the type of explosion that was displayed Tuesday. The 19-year-old’s pair of flashy goals made for his second and third tallies of the series. On his first goal, he blew by a pair of Lightning defenders and beat a sprawling Roloson with a nifty forehand-backhand move. Six minutes later, just moments after Thomas stoned Ryan Malone on a breakaway, Seguin rifled a shot under the crossbar to give the B’s a 4-2 lead. He would contribute assists on a pair of Michael Ryder goals in the period (one of which game on — gasp — the power play) to cap an impressive four-point second period.

With six points in two games this postseason, Seguin now has half the points of Patrice Bergeron, who entered the game leading the team with 12 points.

Milan Lucic has hardly been a force to be reckoned with this postseason, and after taking a Seguin shot off the right foot Monday and missing Tuesday’s skate, his impact on Game 2 was something many were keeping an eye on. Amidst all that, he came out like a man possessed. Lucic had four shots on goal in the first period, which had already made for his second-highest total of the postseason. Lucic played a big role in the team’s power play goal, screening Roloson alongside Horton, who tipped it in.

– As bad as the opening and closing seconds of it were, the Bruins absolutely dominated play in the first period. Though the Lightning got 11 shots on Tim Thomas, the puck possession swayed heavily in favor of the Bruins, whose nonstop possession in the offensive zone for two shifts without the puck leaving the zone caused Tampa coach Guy Boucher to call a timeout at 5:52 despite his team holding a 1-0 lead.

– The Bruins had two power-play goals in the entire postseason entering Tuesday night. They doubled that with a pair of tallies on the man advantage in Game 2. After Roloson stood on his head to deny the Bruins on an extended 5-on-3, Kaberle set up a Seidenberg one-timer that Horton deflected home with one second left on the 5-on-4. Then in the second period, Ryder collected a rebound off a Seguin shot and backhanded the puck past Roloson to make it 5-3. Perhaps just as important as the goals themselves was the fact that the power play looked good all game long. The Bruins got set up with relative ease, made clean passes and created one scoring chance after another.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– The Bruins dominated the vast majority of the first period, but a pair of breakdowns at each end of the frame left them trailing at the intermission. The Lightning scored just 13 seconds into the game when Lecavalier sent a shot wide and Hall beat a pair of Bruins to the left doorstep and banged home the rebound. After getting outworked for the next 19-plus minutes, the Lightning struck again with just 6.5 seconds left in the period when St. Louis beat Johnny Boychuk to the front of the net and tipped in Stamkos’ centering pass.

– As explosive as they were offensively, there is still a bit of sloppiness they need to clean up. Boychuk nearly gave the Lightning a goal in the first period by banking an intended pass off Tomas Kaberle in front of the net. The Lightning’s second goal went off Boychuk’s skate, and he looked bad on Stamkos’ goal as well. Kaberle made things dangerous for Krejci with a buddy pass when breaking out of the Bruins’ zone. The Lightning also had a pair of breakaways, though Thomas stopped them both.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Tyler Seguin,
Claude Julien won’t say whether Patrice Bergeron is in, says Milan Lucic is fine at 12:00 pm ET
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The Bruins had only two absences for their morning skate Tuesday, with forwards Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic the only players to miss the skate. Recchi does not take part in postseason morning skates, while Lucic could have been given the morning off due to a shot off the foot he took from Tyler Seguin on Monday.

Coach Claude Julien noted after practice that there was nothing to worry about with Lucic, and offered very little on the status of Patrice Bergeron, who was on the ice Tuesday morning but will reportedly miss Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals due to the concussion from which he is still recovering.

“As far as Bergeron is concerned, I think if he’s in, you’re going to see him in the warmups,” Julien said. “With Lucic, there is no issues there are all.”

Bergeron has two goals and 10 assists this postseason for a team-leading 12 points in 11 games. Lucic, who led the team with 30 goals in the regular season, has two goals and three assists for five points.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Claude Julien, Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin
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