Ryan Malone plays an important role, keeping Zdeno Chara at bay, in Tampa Bay Lightning’s win (Part 2)
The physical aspect of Ryan Malone’s game definitely gave Lightning an edge over Boston Bruins. At several occasions when it seemed almost impossible to stop players from nearing the goal, Malone did a splendid job to restrict the Bruins’ offence.
He was able to carry the team forward alongside him and all Lightning players adapted a physical game, supporting Malone. This boosted Lightning’s confidence and opened spaces for them.
This was one of the main reasons behind Lightning’s comeback to level the scores at 3-3 before they went into the break.
The third goal was a result of a highly pressurized Bruins’ defence. The defenders were panicking, thus, losing the puck to Bergenheim and conceding a third goal.
"He's a warrior. He pays the price in so many areas", Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said. "Sometimes you notice, sometimes you don't notice it. We notice it every game and every shift he plays. He inspires this team. And I think tonight I gave him one of
our two stars for sure because I felt that he was part of the guys that really inspired the rest of the group. And he keeps on doing what he's been doing. He's one of those guys that you never know when he's going to make a difference and it could be with
a body check, could be with a goal, could be with heavy stick in front of their net”.
Bruins was one of the toughest teams in the National Hockey League (NHL) during the regular season in terms of physical play but this time it was physically out-played by their opponents.
Lightning was not only exceptional when it came to defence, but they were absolutely brilliant on the offence, scoring five goals while allowing none after the initial three.
Bruins’ play-making also deteriorated with the passage of time, losing the puck in the middle. This pressurized their defence, crumbling most of the times. As a result, Lightning won the game by 5-3 to level the series at 2-2, making the series all the more
All Lightning players were able to come out strong and contributed in the game.
Teddy Purcell was among some of the most productive players, scoring two goals in the game, while Simon Gagne also scored a total of three points, including the game winning goal.
The goalkeeper, Mike Smith, did a superb job by making 21 saves out of the 21 shots fired at his goal.
Lightning is now the third team in the 2011 Stanley Cup Play-offs to win a game after being down by three or more goals.
The other two teams to do so are Washington Capitals and San Jose Sharks.