Tampa Bay gets even with Bruins
Sunday, May 22, 2011
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Mike Smith has joined Simon Gagne in hurting the Boston Bruins during the postseason.
Smith was perfect in relief of goalie Dwayne Roloson, and Gagne snapped a tie in the third period for the Tampa Bay Lightning, who erased an early three-goal deficit and evened the Eastern Conference finals with a 5-3 win in Game 4 over the Bruins on Saturday.
Roloson was pulled in the first period after he allowed three goals on nine shots. Smith came on and made 21 saves as the Lightning avoided dropping into a big hole against the surging Bruins. Boston will host Game 5 on Monday.
“There’s no time to think,” Smith said. “It’s just one of those things where we got behind the 8-ball there in the first. That’s why I’m on the bench, to come in and kind of settle the team down and give them a little bit of a momentum. It ended up working out.”
Gagne scored the winning goal last season for Philadelphia when the Flyers rebounded from a 3-0 series deficit and a 3-0 hole in Game 7 to beat the Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
“I think what happened last year, it’s behind (us),” Gagne said. “Things are different now. I’m playing with a different team. Boston is a different team. Right now it’s just going out there and trying to be the difference in the game.”
Teddy Purcell scored twice in the second period when the Lightning tied it at 3. Tampa Bay also got a goal from Sean Bergenheim, who leads the NHL with nine playoff goals after scoring 14 times during the regular season.
Martin St. Louis sealed the win in the final minute with an empty-net goal.
Gagne gave the Lightning a 4-3 lead when he beat Tim Thomas from the right circle 6:54 into the third period after Tampa Bay left wing Ryan Malone stole the puck near the blue line. The Lightning outshot the Bruins 9-1 through the first seven minutes of the period after scoring three unanswered goals in the second.
“We got outworked,” Thomas said. “They took over. They took the play to us. They started getting scoring chances and we stopped getting scoring chances.”
Smith replaced Roloson with two minutes to go in the first and then made 13 saves in the second en route to his first NHL playoff win in his second career postseason appearance — both this series in relief of Roloson.
Lightning coach Guy Boucher said Saturday’s game doesn’t change Roloson’s status.
“We have our No. 1 goaltender,” Boucher said. “He’s taken us to this place right now, and that’s the reason why we’re here. Smitty has been terrific. So whenever it’s time for him to help the team and try to change the momentum around, I don’t hesitate. It was the same in Boston. We put him in. I don’t remember the last bad game he’s played.”
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