Bolts, Bruins to focus on defence

Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Sean Bergenheim shots to score a goal past teammate Dominic Moore,...

Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Sean Bergenheim shots to score a goal past teammate Dominic Moore, against Boston Bruins' Dennis Seidenberg and Rich Peverley during the first period in Game 1 of their NHL Eastern Conference Finals hockey game in Boston, Massachusetts May 14, 2011. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:34 PM ET

TAMPA BAY -- By the count of the Tampa Bay Lighting coaching staff, the Bolts had the most scoring chances, 32, in any game this year in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final against the Boston Bruins.

That’s about three times as many as most teams get in a typical game.

The problem is they gave up 21, figures Tampa coach Guy Boucher, and lost the game 6-5 to tie the series 1-1 going into Thursday night’s Game 3 at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Neither team was happy with how they played in Game 2, so an emphasis on getting back to structure (everybody cringe) and solid defensive play is on the collective minds of both teams.

“That was the game we had the most chances all year and it didn’t help us. For us, the focus has to be on defence first. We know if we have success defensively, we’ll give ourselves a chance,” Boucher said.

Goaltender Dwayne Roloson - hardly to blame for the loss after being abandoned by his teammates - will be back in the Tampa net Thursday night and Boucher said the 41-year-old veteran will bounce back after being pulled after two periods Tuesday night.

“He’s built some mental tools that young guys don’t have,” Boucher said of Roloson’s ability to bounce back. “It’s a 12-hour thing. Beyond 12 hours, you can’t talk to him about (a previous game). It doesn’t exist. It’s a great mental tool.”

“We’re not worried about how Rollie is going to play,” said Tampa forward Martin St. Louis. “It all comes down to the decision we make in certain areas of the ice with and without the puck.”

Boucher said he thought his team was a little eager to go for the killshot when they were up 2-1 after a period in Game 2.

“We wanted it too much offensively,” he said. “We reloaded for the third, but it was too late.”

On the Bruins side, forward Patrice Bergeron “inches” towards a return from his concussion. Boston Bruins’ coach, Claude Julien, said discussions with the team’s medical staff will take place this afternoon and he said if Bergeron is in the warmup tonight, it’s because he will be playing.

“If he’s in the warmup, I’m not just sending him out there for a skate. He’s going to play,” Julien said.

If Bergeron does play, big Shawn Thornton is likely to come out of the lineup. Rich Peverley would likely drop to the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille. Bergeron would go back with Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi. Rookie Tyler Seguin, who had a four-point second period in Game 2, would continue with Chris Kelly and Michael Ryder.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


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