HNIC Star Selector - Conference Finals - Game 7 Preview - Bruins vs Lightning
Loyal reader, I have been given a gift much like Johnny Smith in the DeadZone. I recently put my hands on Bruins jersey and could see the potential Bruins future of this game, likewise with a Lightning jersey. I share my visions with you...
The Bruins will get an early jump with a 1st period even strength goal compliments of David Krejci around the 5 minutes mark. My crystal jersey sees the Lightning defence unable to handle a savage fore check coughing up the puck in the high slot to Krejci who rips a high glove slapper past Dwayne Roloson. Steve Downie, will follow this up a few minutes later by taking an undisciplined tripping penalty, upending Brad Marchand in the neutral zone and then compounding the issue with an extra 2 minutes for roughing up Zdeno Chara. Tyler Seguin will capitalize by tipping in a Tomas Kaberle point shot (yes he will actually shoot the puck) to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead heading into the intermission.
The 2nd period will be dominated by the goalies. Tim Thomas' 12 period saves will be highlighted a pad stacking, highway robbery, partial breakaway stop on Martin St. Louis. Dwayne Roloson's quick glove hand will keep his team in the game by denying a Nathan Horton's point blank one timer and keeping the score to a reachable 2 goal margin.
Not looking to sit on the lead the Bruins fore check forces a brutal give away by Viktor Hedman, allowing Michael Ryder to bury a quick wrister over Roloson right shoulder extending the lead to 3-0. The Lightning answer right back on the power play, with Martin St. Louis sneaking a puck out of a scramble and roofing a backhander past Thomas. 3-1 Bruins. The rest of the 3rd settles into the Bruins D shutting the door on the Lightning attack stacking the blue line with 4 wide. The Lightning get their shot at getting back into the game on a power play with 6 minutes left, but all 5 shots are rejected dashing any hopes of a come back. The Bruins advance to the finals with a 3-1 victory.
The Lightning needing to take the crowd out of the game early come out pressing generating two solid scoring chances but are not able to bury anything. Their best chance, a breakaway from Steven Stamkos is easily turned aside by Tim Thomas. Tampa carries the majority of play but only lead the shot category (11-4) at the end of the first period.
Martin St. Louis capitalizes on a Brad Marchand's early second period hooking penalty on Teddy Purcell staking the Lightning to a 1-0 lead. The Lightning strike again 1:40 later when Simon Gagne steals the puck on the low boards from Denis Seidenberg, takes two quick strides and slides one under Thomas for the 2-0 lead. Five minutes later, the Bruins benefit from an icing call creating a long series in the Lightning end against a very tired group of Bolt players. A cycled puck lands on the stick of hard shooting Zdeno Chara and his one time blast puts the Bruins back into the contest. A massive Nathan Horton hit separates Eric Brewer from the puck allowing a rushing Tomas Kaberle to slap home the game tying goal with 3:30 left in the 2nd.
The 3rd period is loaded with drama and excitement. The Lightning get things started with a down low rebound power play goal. Tim Thomas' initial point shot save finds its way on St. Louis stick who promptly sets up Teddy Purcell in front giving the Lightning a 3-2 advantage. The Bruins shoot themselves in the foot giving up another power play after Milan Lucic receives 2 minutes for roughing on Downie. The Lightning wasting no time, score on a fully screened Tim Thomas by a point shot from Bergeron. With 11 minutes remaining Boston gets one goal back benefiting from a valiant Tyler Seguin effort. Streaking through the middle, the rookie forward undresses both Lightning defenders and roofs it over Roloson for a 4-3 score. But, this as close as the Bruins will get, as St. Louis will gain control of the puck in the Lightning zone, muscle his way down the ice and seal things with an empty netter. The Lightning's 5-3 win advances to the team to the Stanley Cup final.
Now that you know the future, Star Selector should be a breeze. Pick the goal scorers and off you go!