2011 NHL Playoffs: Lightning Sputtering On Offense, Bruins Take 2-1 Lead

The Tampa Bay Lightning had plenty of chances to extend their 1-0 lead after Simon Gagne scored just over a minute into the game. But they failed to capitalize, and now trail the Boston Bruins 2-1 after two periods in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Even though the Lightning carried play for most of the first period and had two more power-play opportunities in the first few minutes of the second period, they haven’t scored any more goals. They’ve become too patient with the man advantage, passing the puck around for long stretches of time even when shooting lanes are available. Forwards are bunching together on breakouts, limiting options for the puck carrier. And the Bruins have adjusted to take away centering passes from down near the goal line.

All those missed opportunities in a hockey game eventually come back to bite you later on, and they finally bit the Lightning when Nathan Horton scored off a faceoff at 4:24 of the second period to tie the game at 1. Boston took the lead at 15:56 when Zdeno Chara worked down the boards, drawing Victor Hedman away from the net. Patrice Bergeron came over to take the puck as Brett Clark also left the goal mouth to try and defend him. That left no one to block a centering attempt, and Bergeron whipped a perfect pass right to Brad Marchand, who lifted a shot past Mike Smith in front of the crease to give the Bruins a 2-1 advantage.

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