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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bruins take the time machine back to Games 1-2 vs. Montreal

After not having a game for eight days, we were all dying for a taste of the Boston Bruins in the playoffs, especially since the Celtics are now done and the B's had advanced farther than they had in the past 18 years.

In true Bruins form, they completely let everybody down by getting smoked 5-2 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals last night at TD Garden.

After sweeping the Philadelphia Flyers and winning four of its last five against the Montreal Canadiens earlier in the playoffs, the B's took a trip back to the nightmarish Games 1-2 against the Habs. In those games, Boston routinely gave goals to Montreal with awful turnovers and bad rebounds from Tim Thomas.

Tampa Bay put Game 1 away with a flurry of three goals in a span of 1:25 of the first period. At 11:15, Sean Bergenheim (8th of the playoffs) made it 1-0 as Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg kicked it right to him in front of the net. Totally not Thomas' fault. Dominic Moore and Victor Hedman assisted on that one.

19 seconds later, Brett Clark went from one end of the rink to the other and threw a weak sauce backhander on Thomas (29 saves). It trickled through Thomas for Clark's first goal of the postseason. Completely unforgivable.

Bruins head coach Claude Julien should have called a timeout right then but he waited and things somehow got even worse as Tomas Kaberle coughed up the puck right behind the net and Teddy Purcell stuffed it by Thomas for his second of the playoffs and a shocking 3-0 Lightning lead just 12:40 into the first period.

At 15:59 of the first period, Tyler Seguin cut it to 3-1 with a moment of brilliance, his first career playoff goal in his first playoff game. He was assisted by Michael Ryder and Rich Peverley but Seguin did all the hard work as he dangled past a Tampa Bay defenseman.

Boston put some shots on Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson (31 saves) but they didn't get enough traffic in front or simply shot wide of the net. Plus, Tampa Bay blocked roughly 50 shots.

Marc-Andre Bergeron clinched it for the Lightning with a power-play goal at 13:37 of the third period. His second of the playoffs, it was assisted by Brett Clark and Martin St. Louis.

Simon Gagne added an empty-netter (his third of the season, from Purcell) before Johnny Boychuk (third of the playoffs) got a garbage time goal for the Bruins, from Seguin.

Game 2 is Tuesday night back at TD Garden. I don't think the Bruins could play much worse. Tampa Bay's top offensive players (Steven Stamkos, St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier) were quiet in Game 1 so that'll soon change. Thomas will be better and Boston cannot possibly give Tampa Bay easier goals. It is a must-win since Tampa Bay is better than Montreal and Philadelphia and the B's don't want to be down 2-0 against such a good team with the series headed to their home rink.

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