All the talk leading into game one of the Eastern Conference finals was about who could survive the long layoff the best and not show up in the opener out of kilter. That question was answered midway through the first period when Tampa scored three goals in 85 seconds and never looked back as the Lightning beat the Boston Bruins 5-2 on the road at the TD Garden.
Sean Bergenheim picked up where he left off in the last series, scoring the first goal of the game to bring him to a playoff leading eight goals. Brett Clark scored 19 seconds later to stun the Boston crowd.
The third goal can be laid at the feet of Tim Thomas who did not appear to be fully engaged, and Thomas Kaberle who muffed a breakout attempt by the net and Teddy Purcell took advantage of the situation and shoved it past Thomas to make it 3-0.
Boston called a time out and showed a sign of life three minutes later when Tyler Seguin scored his first playoff goal in his debut to cut the lead to 3-1. The second period was scoreless as Tampa continued to keep pressure on the Bruins.
Another question was answered when the red hot Tampa power play scored in the third period to continue their good run in the playoffs. The Bolts were 1-5 on the man advantage while Boston was 0-4.
Boston pulled Thomas early which led to a Simon Gagne empty netter with 2:31 remaining. A final goal by Johnny Boychuk with 61 seconds left finished the scoring and gave Boston a meaningless addition to the score.
Boston tried to send a message with some shenanigans with 37 seconds left which resulted in Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic receiving game misconducts.
Game two in the series is Tuesday night and the pressure will be on Boston to try to salvage a win at home before heading to Tampa for games three and four.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass