BOSTON, MA - MAY 23: Nathan Horton #18 of the Boston Bruins celebrates his second period goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning with teammates in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 23, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Lightning Vs. Bruins, Game 5: Boston Wins 3-1, Takes Series Lead

The Boston Bruins now lead their series with the Tampa Bay Lightning after a 3-1 home win, thanks to good performances by Tim Thomas and Nathan Horton.

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Lightning Vs. Bruins, Game 5: Boston's Two-Goal Second Proves Enough In 3-1 Win As Bruins Take 3-2 Series Lead

A poor first period had the Boston Bruins down, but not out. They recovered from a 1-0 deficit after the first period and beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final, to take a 3-2 series lead.

Simon Gagne got the first goal of the game at 1:09 of the first period, which is notable because it was the same time at which Patrice Bergeron got his first of two goals in the first period of Game 4 in Tampa Bay. He got a pass from Steven Stamkos and deposited on Tim Thomas to give Tampa a 1-0 lead. It was Gagne's second in two games and third of the series, on the heels of getting the winner against Boston on Saturday afternoon. Gagne is continuously building a reputation as a killer of the killer B's.

Smith was solid, but didn't really need to be spectacular, making only four saves in the opening 20 minutes. The Lightning got three power play chances in the period, missing out on their first two. 

After being dominated in the first, Boston got into it in the second. Early in the period, it was Boston's top offensive line that got Boston tied. The Horton-Krejci-Lucic line has tended to be very good in Boston wins, and empty in Boston losses during this series. It was Lucic who made a remarkable back-hand pass, cross-ice to Nathan Horton. Horton got off a fade-away shot that ripped past Mike Smith, who was late to getting across the net-mouth. VERSUS cameras cut straight to Dwayne Roloson, whom the Lightning spurned to allow Smith to start Game 5. Horton's seventh of the post-season made it 1-1 at 4:24.

Patrice Bergeron has been very good in this series since he returned in Game 2, and it was he who set up the goal that has given Boston a lead. He found Brad Marchand, who beat Smith. You might be surprised to discover that it was Marchand's sixth of the playoffs, but the young forward has been a key, if secondary, contributor to the Bruins attack during the post-season. That made it 2-1 Boston at 15:56, on Bergeron's 11th assist of the post-season. Boston has a chance to take a 3-2 lead in the series by holding off Tampa for 20 more minutes.

Despite getting thoroughly beaten chance and shot wise, the Bruins prevailed in the third. Tampa Bay out-shot Boston 34-20, and 11-8 in the third period. The Lightning pulled Mike Smith with a little more than 40 seconds left, but it proved to be too late, as the Lightning were unable to get the chance they needed to tie it, and Rich Peverly got an empty net goal with 12.1 seconds to go to seal it. The Bruins will head back to Tampa for Game 6 with a chance to advance to their first Stanley Cup Final since 1990. 

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Lightning Vs. Bruins, Game 5: Horton, Marchand Give Boston 2-1 Lead After Two Periods

After being thoroughly dominated in the first period and getting only four shots on goal, the Boston Bruins had to feel like they were lucky to get out of the period only down 1-0. Well, I'm sure they felt fortunate in retrospect, as they've come back and gotten two second period goals. They lead the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 after two periods of Game 5 in the Eastern Conference Final at TD Garden. The series is tied 2-2. 

Early in the period, it was Boston's top offensive line that got Boston tied. The Horton-Krejci-Lucic line has tended to be very good in Boston wins, and empty in Boston losses during this series. It was Lucic who made a remarkable back-hand pass, cross-ice to Nathan Horton. Horton got off a fade-away shot that ripped past Mike Smith, who was late to getting across the net-mouth. VERSUS cameras cut straight to Dwayne Roloson, whom the Lightning spurned to allow Smith to start Game 5. Horton's seventh of the post-season made it 1-1 at 4:24. 

Patrice Bergeron has been very good in this series since he returned in Game 2, and it was he who set up the goal that has given Boston a lead. He found Brad Marchand, who beat Smith. You might be surprised to discover that it was Marchand's sixth of the playoffs, but the young forward has been a key, if secondary, contributor to the Bruins attack during the post-season. That made it 2-1 Boston at 15:56, on Bergeron's 11th assist of the post-season. Boston has a chance to take a 3-2 lead in the series by holding off Tampa for 20 more minutes. 

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Lightning Vs. Bruins, Game 5: Gagne Goal, Solid Smith Gives Tampa 1-0 Lead After One Period

The Tampa Bay Lightning, and their head coach Guy Boucher, made the risky decision to start Mike Smith instead of Dwayne Roloson in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Boston Bruins. So far, however, the move appears to have worked. The Lightning played solid defense and got an early goal from Simon Gagne to lead the Bruins 1-0 after one period to give them the lead on the road at TD Garden. 

Gagne's goal came at 1:09 of the first period, which is notable because it was the same time at which Patrice Bergeron got his first of two goals in the first period of Game 4 in Tampa Bay. He got a pass from Steven Stamkos and deposited on Tim Thomas to give Tampa a 1-0 lead. It was Gagne's second in two games and third of the series, on the heels of getting the winner against Boston on Saturday afternoon. Gagne is continuously building a reputation as a killer of the killer B's. 

Smith was solid, but didn't really need to be spectacular, making only four saves in the opening 20 minutes. The Lightning got three power play chances in the period, missing out on their first two. They will open the second period with a power play of 1:09. 

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Lightning Vs. Bruins, Game 5: Mike Smith May Start For Tampa Bay

According to reports from various sources, including Naoko Funayama of NESN, Mike Smith led the Tampa Bay Lightning out in warm-ups for tonight's Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Boston Bruins, which is tied at two games apiece. This indicates that Smith may very well be the starting goaltender for Tampa tonight, replacing starter Dwayne Roloson. Smith has been called in relief to replace Roloson twice in this series, and has not given up a goal. It could just be mind games, however. 

Meanwhile, Steve Downie is on the ice for Tampa Bay after taking a hit to the head in Game 4. His status is still up in the air, but being on the ice is a good sign. The Bruins have dressed 23 skaters in warm-ups and will need to make three scratches, one of whom may or may not be Shawn Thornton. 

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