Goalie Smith surprised to start in Lightning loss

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“We’re a team that doesn’t give up many shots through the whole regular season. I learned to play like that,” said Smith, who started 20 of the 22 games he played before the playoffs. “You’ve just got to try to relax with your mind when the puck’s in their end and when it comes down just to try and stay focused.”

In the other end, goalie Tim Thomas had a busy night. After Simon Gagne gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead just 69 seconds into the game, the Vezina Trophy finalist stopped all 33 shots.

And he was impressed with his counterpart in the opposite net.

“He played a good game,” Thomas said. “He only let in two goals and they were two pretty good goals.”

Smith thinks Boucher waited to tell him he’d start to avoid putting more pressure on him. Still, he had some jitters in his playoff starting debut.

“Obviously, my first start I was a little bit nervous,” he said, “but it’s the buildup more than anything. Once you get out there and get playing I seemed to settle down and get in the rhythm of the game.”

Now Boucher has another decision to make with his season on the line.

Does he go back to Roloson on Wednesday night in Tampa or stick with Smith?

The coach gave no hint, but said, “I’m one of those guys that will give people a chance. I felt that Smitty had been terrific for us.”

And what does Smitty think about his role in Game 6?

“I have no expectations right now,” he said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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