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NHL: Bruins shut out Lightning to take 2-1 series lead

By Tyler Hunt     May 20, 2011 in Sports
Tim Thomas stopped 31 shots for his 2nd career playoff shutout and David Krejci scored the winner as the Boston Bruins edged the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 2-0, pulling ahead 2-1 in the best of seven series.
The Vezina Trophy candidate Thomas was on point Thursday night for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final, turning away 31 shots and giving his team all they needed to secure a win.
David Krejci had his seventh goal of the playoffs which stood as the winner in a game where Tampa Bay out shot Boston 31-25.
It was just Thomas' second career post-season shutout, and his first of the 2011 campaign after setting an NHL single-season record, recording a .938 save percentage in the regular season.
Andrew Ference also added a goal, and the Bruins got some much-needed assistance from Milan Lucic, who made a nice play to set up Krejci on the first goal. Michael Ryder and Chris Kelly both picked up a point each as well, combining for 19 points in the post-season thus far for the Bruins.
Patrice Bergeron made his return to the lineup after being out with a mild concussion after taking a hit from Claude Giroux in the 2nd round against Philedelphia. The star centre was 64% at the face-off circle and nearly set up a goal on a 2 on 1 with Rich Peverly, but Roloson shut the door.
The 41-year-old Roloson stopped 23 of 25 shots, but it was Tampa Bay's offense that didn't click. Martin St. Louis had just two shots on goal, while the trio of Vincent Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos, and Teddy Purcell combined for 15 of Tampa's shots, unable to beat Thomas.
Shawn Thornton was out of the lineup for the Bruins, after Tyler Seguin had four points in Game 2. Seguin had another impressive game, logging 13 minutes of ice time and helping set up the Ference goal, though he wasn't awarded an assist on the scoresheet.
There was much talk about a hit delivered in the first period by Tampa Bay's Marc-Andre Bergeron on David Kreijci. Bergeron lined Kreijci up at centre-ice and was called for a 2 minute elbowing minor on the play, which Lightning head coach Guy Boucher was furious with. It was reminiscent of last year's playoffs when Flyers' captain Mike Richards delivered a similar hit on Kreijci causing him to suffer a broken wrist, a point which many will say turned the series around in favor of Philadelphia.
But the Bruins kept their composure and stopped the Tampa Bay attack that had scored ten times in the two games previous.
Boston's top pair of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg logged more minutes than any player on either team, both clocking in over the 28-minute mark.
Tampa Bay will be looking to rebound after taking the first game of the series, and then losing the next two. The Lightning scored nine goals on Thomas (plus an empty-netter) in the first two games, but were unable to put one past him in Game 3.
Game 4 will be played Saturday afternoon at 1:30 in Tampa Bay.
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