The Tampa Bay Lightning host the Boston Bruins tonight in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, looking to take back the lead after the Bruins tied the series at 1-1 in Boston.
The Bruins came out with a much better effort in Game 2 after falling behind early in Game 1 and never really getting back in it.
Tyler Seguin had four points including two goals and Nathan Horton had a goal and two assists as the Bruins rallied early and held on for a 6-5 win.
The Bruins 2nd overall pick in the 2010 Entry Draft gave head coach Claude Julien a lot to think about, as the 19-year old Seguin was thought to be headed back to the press box upon the return of injured centre Patrice Bergeron.
Michael Ryder, who has been a pleasant surprise for the Bruins this post-season, also scored twice giving him nine points in 13 playoff games for the Bruins this year.
Tampa Bay will try to do much of what they did in Game 2, but will need better results. The Lightning outshot the Bruins 41-35 and outscored them in both the first and third periods.
It was Boston's five-goal second period that put the lead just out of reach, and despite a strong 3rd period that cut the lead down to one with over six minutes to play, Ryan Malone was penalized just 21 seconds later to bring the comeback attempt to a halt.
Boston's Patrice Bergeron will be a game-time decision as he skated Thursday and could make his return to the Bruins' lineup.
The Bolts have had strong contribution from captain Vincent Lecavalier this post-season, as he too notched four points in Game 2, tying him with teammate Martin St. Louis for a league-leading 16 points.
The Bruins have relied more on scoring by committee, as Nathan Horton is the only player with more than a point per game. But contributions from the likes of Brad Marchand, and David Krejci, who have 11 points each, have helped propel the Bruins through the first two rounds. Dennis Seidenberg has also quietly put up eight points, ranking him 3rd in scoring among defensemen.
Tonight's game will sway the series in the direction of one team, and either way Tampa Bay has taken home-ice advantage for the remainder of the series.
The Bruins will need a strong performance out of Tim Thomas early to keep the game in check, and more contribution from Milan Lucic if they want to advance further in the playoffs. Lucic has just five points in 13 games so far, although he was a physical force in Game 2 and at times throughout these playoffs he's shown flashes of the player that led the team with 30 goals in the regular season.
Puck-drop tonight is 8 PM. Game 4 will be played in Tampa Bay on Saturday afternoon.