Boston Bruins rookie Tyler Seguin scored a pair of goals and set up two others in a 6-5 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday to level the NHL Eastern Conference finals at 1-1.
Pressed into service by an injury to Patrice Bergeron, teenager Seguin has blossomed in the post-season spotlight with three goals and three assists in his first two playoff games.
The Boston victory snapped the Lightning’s eight-game playoff winning streak and sends the best-of-seven series to Tampa for Games Three and Four today and on Saturday.
Trailing 2-1 after the opening period, the Bruins exploded for five goals in the second, with 19-year-old Seguin scoring two and assisting on two others.
Michael Ryder also had a pair of goals for Boston, while Nathan Horton and David Krejci each tallied once.
“I think it’s just a learning curve,” Seguin told reporters. “It’s been a whole learning curve all year and as the year went on I felt more confident, more poised and in big games I always want to step up. Tonight I had some lucky bounces, but I was trying to take advantage of all opportunities and they were going in tonight.”
As in Game One, Tampa got the early jump, Adam Hall beating Tim Thomas on a backhand shot just 13 seconds into the contest.
The Bruins equalized on a Horton power-play tally, but the Lightning regained the lead with seven seconds left in the period when Martin St Louis deflected the puck off a Bruins defenseman into the net.
In the second period it was the Bruins who came out flying, Seguin splitting the Tampa defense then deking goalie Dwayne Roloson to tie the game at 2-2 before Krejci gave the Bruins their first lead of the night.
Seguin notched his second of the night with a rocket wrist shot, but Lightning’s Vincent Lecavalier kept it a one-goal game by scoring on the man advantage to make it 4-3.
Boston would take control with back-to-back goals from Ryder to take a 6-3 advantage into the second intermission.
After surrendering six goals on 27 shots, Roloson was replaced by Mike Smith for the third period as the Lightning mounted a late rally, with Steven Stamkos and Dominic Moore scoring to keep the capacity crowd on the edge of their seats.
“It might be exciting for the fans, but from the team’s perspective and standpoint, it’s not how we’ve played,” Tampa coach Guy Boucher said. “When the other team is that hungry, you can’t let that happen. We could have come back. We always do in the third period. We’re known for that. One or two goals, you always come back but three, it’s a lot.”
“Even if we would have won that game, we certainly wouldn’t have been happy with the way we played,” he added.