2011 NHL Playoffs: Lightning Bookend Dominant First Period By Bruins With Goals, Lead 2-1

For the Tampa Bay Lightning, it would be best for them to get to the locker room before someone changes their mind about them leading the Boston Bruins 2-1 after the first period in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bruins had the run of play for nearly the entire period, but are still trailing on the scoreboard

Tampa Bay’s first goal was scored exactly 13 seconds into the game. Off the opening faceoff, Vincent Lecavalier brought the puck into the offensive zone and took a long shot from the right point. It deflected off a Bruins stick, skimmed the side of the net, and bounced quickly off the end boards to Adam Hall on the opposite side. Tim Thomas, still looking for the puck behind the net, was too late to protect the far post and Hall alertly put it into the net. It was the second-fastest goal to start a playoff game in the last 20 years in the NHL.

The Bruins dominated for the next nineteen and a half minutes. They sustained offensive pressure, kept the Lightning from getting chances of their own, and flexed their muscles all over the ice. Only fantastic goaltending from Dwayne Roloson (17 saves in the first period) kept Boston from doing too much damage, but Nathan Horton did score a rare power-play goal to tie the game at 1.

Then on the last rush of the first period, Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis combined to give the Lightning an unearned 2-1 lead. Stamkos made a spin move at the right faceoff circle and put a backhand shot on net while St. Louis drove to the crease. His shot bounced off St. Louis’ stick, then ricocheted off Boston’s Johnny Boychuk and into the goal with only 6.5 seconds left on the clock.

Obviously the Lightning need to play much better if they want to win Game 2, but if that first period is the worst they can do, what’s going to happen when they start improving?

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