With Tampa Bay coming into today’s Game 4 trailing 2-1 in the series, they needed to come out with a jump. They did that for about the first five minutes before the turnovers started and changed the pace of the game.
Hedman would try to reverse the flow of play back to defensive partner Brett Clark, only Clark couldn’t handle the pass and Patrice Bergeron would score off the turnover to make it 1-0. Five minutes later, another turnover would lead to a Bruins 2-on-1 that saw Michael Ryder attempt a shot that bounced off of Mike Lundin’s stick and past Roloson to make it 2-0.
Nearly two minutes later, the Lightning would go on the power play with a chance to swing the momentum of the game and get back into things. That wouldn’t go according to plan, however, as Steve Stamkos turned the puck over to Patrice Bergeron who then ripped a shot through the five hole of Roloson to make it 3-0. That would be the end of the game for Roloson as coach Guy Boucher pulled him in favor of Mike Smith. Roloson would finish the game making six saves on nine shots.
Bergeron’s two goals get him back into the saddle as the Bruins’ leading man when it comes to scoring and seeing him do it both at even strength and shorthanded proves what his worth is to the team. The fact that the Bruins are dominating play right now while the Lightning continue to flub the puck speaks a lot to the pressure the Bruins are applying to the game.
The period wouldn’t end quietly, however, as a scrum erupted as time ran out that saw an odd fight between Marc-Andre Bergeron and Rich Peverley break out. Tampa agitating forward Steve Downie would pick up a minor for roughing and a ten-minute misconduct. The Bruins starting the second on the power play, even despite their struggles, is not the way the Lightning want to start off.
Tim Thomas was again strong in goal stopping all ten shots he saw. He also wasn’t about to take any guff from Lightning players crashing his net.
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Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.
Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.
The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.
“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.
Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.
The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.
“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”
The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.
Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.
Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.
“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”
Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:
- He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
- Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
- The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.
Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.
Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?