for this game

Bolts hold on to force Game 7

May 26, 2011 - 6:52 AM
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Martin St. Louis had two goals, including the decisive score midway through the third period, as the Tampa Bay Lightning held off the Boston Bruins, 5-4, to force a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Teddy Purcell also lit the lamp twice for the Lightning, who had dropped Game 5 on Monday but have an opportunity to steal the series in Boston on Friday.

The winner will face Vancouver in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Canucks beat San Jose in the second overtime period Tuesday to clinch the Western Conference Finals.

Steven Stamkos recorded a goal and two assists for Tampa Bay, which last won the conference finals in 2004, when it went on to defeat Calgary for the Stanley Cup. Dwayne Roloson turned aside 16 shots in the victory.

David Krejci had a hat trick for the Bruins, who are trying to reach the Cup Finals for the first time since 1990.

"It's not over," Krejci said. "We're still one win away from the Stanley Cup Finals, and we're not going to quit. That's what we want really bad. That's what we're going to fight for in Game 7."

They had an opportunity to end the series Wednesday, up 2-1 after one period, but the Lightning took control thanks to an effective power play.

Boston's Dennis Seidenberg was whistled for cross-checking at the 7:39 mark of the middle period, and only 16 seconds into the man advantage, St. Louis struck.

Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, who ended with 21 saves, stopped the initial shot but couldn't corral the rebound. The puck bounced between players by the left side of the crease before settling in an open area in the slot, and St. Louis was there to throw in a backhand equalizer.

Purcell made it a 3-2 game later in the period with Boston's Rich Peverley in the penalty box for interference. After the Lightning dug the puck out from the end boards, Purcell's slap shot from the left circle beat Thomas at 13:35.

The goal made Tampa Bay 2-for-2 on power play chances, and Stamkos kept the Lightning perfect early in the third.

Tampa Bay started the period on the man advantage because Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference had been called for cross-checking with 55 seconds left in the second.

It didn't take the Lightning long to capitalize. Defenseman Eric Brewer picked up the puck in the high slot and dished to the left circle for Stamkos, who fired a one-time rocket past Thomas 34 seconds in for a 4-2 advantage.

"I don't know if it's the home crowd, or the power plays are clicking, but we've seemed to do a real good job of that all year," Purcell said. "So hopefully we can continue to do that in Game 7."

Boston was penalized just four times, but the three it incurred in the second period -- and subsequent special teams failures -- forced the Bruins to play catch-up down the stretch.

They got within a goal at 9:46, when Krejci tapped in Nathan Horton's pass from the left side during a power play.

But St. Louis got it back just half a minute later after the Bruins were caught out of position. He and Steve Downie raced up-ice on a 2-on-1 and executed a perfect give-and-go. Downie waited until he drew Thomas out of the net to pass back to the left side, and St. Louis scored on an open net for a 5-3 contest.

Krejci completed his hat trick with 6:32 to play, but the Bruins couldn't crack the goal line again.

They had seemed to gain control in the opening period, despite Purcell scoring only 36 seconds into the game. Thomas faced only three more shots in the frame and stopped them all, while Milan Lucic and Krejci lit the lamp.

Both beat Roloson to the glove side. Lucic used defenseman Victor Hedman as a screen to score at 7:09, while Krejci tallied with 3:30 left after skating in from the left circle and wristing the puck past the Lightning goaltender.

Game Notes

Horton and Tomas Kaberle both had two assists for Boston...Krejci recorded the first playoff hat trick and second of his career. He scored three times against Toronto on December 18, 2008...The Bruins were 1-for-5 on the power play.