The Tampa Bay Lightning made a three-goal comeback in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final, signifying that they by no means will be going away easily in this series. The Boston Bruins got off to a terrific start, but Tampa Bay got three goals in less than four minutes to tie it, before going ahead in period three. The series is now even at two wins apiece, with a best-of-three to decide the Eastern Conference representative in the Stanley Cup Final beginning tonight in Game 5 at TD Garden.
One of the more interesting subplots to come out of Tampa's comeback in Game 4 is what effect it will have on the team's goaltending situation. Though Dwayne Roloson is expected to start, head coach Guy Boucher has been non-committa.
"He's preparing like he prepared for all the other games," Boucher said. "So we're prepared. He's prepared. He got out. He's done his morning skate like usual. He prepared yesterday. We had a good talk. And he knows what's coming up."
Mike Smith has relieved Roloson in three periods of this series and has yet to give up a goal, while Roloson has surrendered 13 goals in nine periods of action.
Steve Downie took a heavy hit from behind and left Game 4. Boucher seemed reticent to say he could play.
"He's doing better this morning, he said. "But better and ready to go, doesn't necessarily mean that it's the same thing. But at least it's better. So there's something positive -- and [Dana] Tyrell, same thing. He was sick last game. Couldn't play much. So today -- and yesterday -- he was much better. And today he's fine. So if he sits down, he's not playing. Tyrell's ready to go and Blair Jones will be in the lineup if he's not. So that's who we're going to go with."
Boston appears to be stable, but head coach Claude Julien wants his team to stay mentally sharp.
"Physically it's certainly something that you really want to do at this stage of the season," Julien said. "And you give your team rest, and sometimes, for example, yesterday I don't know if it was so much about conditioning, because there wasn't a ton of things that I think we could correct on the ice yesterday, more than we could correct in the dressing room."
"And at the same time, when it comes to individuals, you know, as a coach, you work with individuals every day. Every day you're talking to individuals. And you're trying to get certain guys back on track. And that's what we do."
Tim Thomas starts again for the Bruins.