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NHL Playoffs: Despite split, Bruins’ defense is under siege
BOSTON — Scoring five goals in one period didn't satisfy Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien. Neither did an outstanding offensive game by prize rookie Tyler Seguin.
Not when the Bruins gave up 10 goals in two games and had to fight off a late charge by the Tampa Bay Lightning to gain a split of the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals.
"I don't think anybody's happy," Julien said after Tuesday night's 6-5 win. "We want to score goals. There's no doubt there. But the way we've been giving up goals, there's nothing to be proud of."
Boston allowed the fewest goals in the conference during the regular season, - and the playoffs are known for strong defense.
"It seemed like it was going to be a weird game," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said, "so we want to make sure we are not that weird for the next game."
The series moves to Tampa for Games 3 and 4 on Thursday night and Saturday.
The Lightning's eight-game winning streak ended with their first loss in 27 days since rallying from a 3-1 deficit against Pittsburgh in the first round.
"After eight games of playing solid, structured and intense and doing things down to the 'T' there's bound to be some point you have something that might be a little different," Boucher said. "Even if we would have won that game, we wouldn't be happy with the way we played."
Tampa Bay won the opener 5-2 then fell behind 6-3 when Seguin - benched for all 11 games in the first two rounds for defensive shortcomings - scored two goals and assisted on a pair by Michael Ryder, all in the second period.
Steven Stamkos made it 6-4 at 3:47 of the third and Dominic Moore cut the deficit to one with 6:45 remaining.
Then Bruins goalie Tim Thomas held firm.
"If you start thinking about the goals that just went in it's going to lead to other goals," Thomas said. "I've been through enough situations similar to that. I was just trying to keep my focus."
He did that well enough to turn back 36 of the Lightning's 41 shots.
"We did stuff that we were not happy with and obviously the comeback was good for us," Tampa Bay's Sean Bergenheim said. "It wasn't enough but it shows something about this team."
Center Patrice Bergeron, one of Boston's best players, has not been ruled out of the series after missing the first two games because of a mild concussion.
"It definitely makes it a little easier" if he returns, Boston's Mark Recchi said.
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