Simon Gagne had three points including the game-winning goal with 13:06 to go in the game to cap off a brilliant comeback for the Tampa Bay Lightning, as they defeated the Boston Bruins 5-3 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday afternoon.
Teddy Purcell had two humongous goals and Mike Smith was perfect in his relief appearance, making 21 saves and getting the win after replacing Dwayne Roloson late in the first period.
Patrice Bergeron had two goals for the Bruins, while Tim Thomas looked rather ordinary, allowing four goals on 36 shots.
Game 5 will be played Monday night at 8 p.m. in Boston.
Gagne gave Tampa its first lead of the game when he placed a drop pass from Ryan Malone between the legs of Thomas. The goal was Gagne’s sixth goal in his last eight playoff games against the Bruins dating back to last year with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Boston looked to have a firm hold on that game, getting three first period goals that would chase Roloson from the cage. The 41-year-old netminder allowed three goals on just nine shots, and was pulled for the second game in a row.
Bergeron started the scoring after a poor giveaway behind the Tampa net. He snuck the puck between the legs of Roloson to make it 1-0.
After Michael Ryder scored a fluke goal to extend the lead, Bergeron picked-off a Steven Stamkos pass and placed a shot between the wickets of Roloson, his second of the game that came shorthanded and forced Lightning coach Guy Boucher to send Smith in to tend the net.
The momentum appeared to be decisively in the corner of the Bruins. But at the end of the first period, the Lightning crashed the net of Thomas hard and caused an immense ruckus, highlighted by the miniature Marc-Andre Bergeron dropping the mitts with Bruins forward Rich Peverely.
The fight ignited the 21,216 fanatics at the St. Pete Times Forum, and set the tone for the remainder of the game.
The Bolts got a huge goal midway through the second when Thomas gift wrapped a goal for Purcell. The Bruins goaltender mishandled the puck behind his own net, gave the puck away to Gagne who fed the puck in the slot to Purcell, cutting the lead to 3-1.
Just over a minute later, some more poor play in the Bruins defensive zone led to Purcell’s second goal of the game. Purcell was left all alone on the wing and was allowed to walk right in and cut the lead in half.
Playoff sensation Sean Bergenheim out muscled Tomas Kaberle behind the Bruins net, then walked out front and slide a shot between the legs of Thomas, tying the game at 3-3. All three Lightning goals came in a span of just over three minutes.
Martin St. Louis added an empty-net goal for the Lightning, who guaranteed their hometown crowd a Game 6.