2011 NHL Playoffs: Mike Smith In Net, Lightning On Board Early

Possibly a surprise in tonight’s lineup, as Mike Smith is in goal for the Tampa Bay Lightning to start Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Bruins. Smith has stopped every shot he’s seen in relief duty in Games 2 and 4 of the series, and part of the benefit of starting Smith may be that coach Guy Boucher can always turn to Dwayne Roloson if Smith struggles.

Fortunately the Lightning made Smith’s job just a little bit easier by scoring only 1:09 into the game. Brett Clark wiped out Andrew Ference at the far-side point, springing Steven Stamkos and Simon Gagne on a 2-on-1 towards Boston goalie Tim Thomas. Stamkos passed to Gagne, who took a bit of an off-speed shot that beat Thomas and found the net.

The Lightning seem more willing to bang bodies in the early going. Along with Clark’s hit on Ference, Mattias Ohlund stood up Brad Marchand at the blue line on the shift before Gagne’s goal, and Stamkos knocked over Dennis Seidenberg a little bit later.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SB Nation Tampa Bay

You must be a member of SB Nation Tampa Bay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Tampa Bay. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Tampa Bay

You must be a member of SB Nation Tampa Bay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Tampa Bay. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.