By Stacey Kilpatrick
Things are looking good for the Boston fan faithful, as the Bruins took a commanding 2-1 lead in the NHL Eastern Conference Final series against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday with a 2-0 win in Game 3. The Bruins defense played one of their better games of the series and goaltender Tim Thomas earned his second career playoff shutout, as he denied 31-shots between the pipes.
“It looked real good [this evening],” Thomas said of his team’s defensive efforts in a post-game interview on Versus. “Tampa had their chances at times. We did a really good job of picking up rebounds [and it was] by far the best defensive game we’ve played in the series.”
Not only did Thomas play great once again, but also, Patrice Bergeron played after being sidelined with a concussion for the first two games of the series. Bergeron skated for 19:13 and had two shots on goal and won 18 of 28 face-offs (64.3%).
“I felt good,” Bergeron said post-game. “I was confident I was ready. Overall, it was a great team effort. That’s how you win.”
David Krejci put the Bruins in a sweet spot, scoring just 1:09 into the game with assists from Milan Lucic and Johnny Boychuk. Krejci has now made seven goals in the postseason.
Up until 8:12 in the third, 1:09 seemed to be frozen on everyone’s clocks – with no goals from the Lightning and no new scores by the Bruins, but Andrew Ference made that change when he bumped Boston’s lead to two with help from Michael Ryder and Chris Kelly.
The Bruins will look to continue their dominance on Saturday during Game 4 at Tampa, face-off is scheduled for 1:30PM eastern.