TAMPA — And somehow you knew this Bruins team had to make things hard at least one more time before the curtain falls.
It would’ve been way too easy for them to close out the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at the St. Pete Times Forum and start preparing for the Vancouver Canucks and the Stanley Cup Final.
Instead, they’ll play a do-or-die game in Boston Friday that could validate everything they’ve done over the last eight months or leave them two steps shy of their ultimate goal.
David Krejci’s hat trick wasn’t enough to overcome a lack of discipline and an ineffective penalty kill in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final, as the Lightning hung on for a 5-4 victory to push the series to the limit.
Here’s a quick glance at the box score:
•In addition to Krejci’s hat trick, linemates Milan Lucic (one goal, one assist) and Nathan Horton (two assists) were also impossible for the Lightning to handle.
•Tim Thomas made just 21 saves on 26 shots.
•The Bruins power play scored a rare goal and finished 1-for-5. The power play is now 5-for-61 in the postseason.
•After coming into the game with 16 kills in 18 Tampa Bay opportunities, the Bruins’ penalty kill was just 1-for-4.
•The Lightning’s “Big Three” of Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and Vinny Lecavalier combined for eight points, including three goals.