The word “structure” was tossed around so much by Tampa Bay Lighting players you’d have thought you were at a civil engineers convention rather than a locker room.
That’ll happen after an eight-game winning streak gets snapped, largely due to a disjointed second period in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals led to a 6-5 loss to the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Tuesday night. The Lightning allowed five goals on nine shots as goalie Dwayne Roloson was chased from the game.
"We got away from our system and structure as a team the first two periods,” Roloson said on a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. “We came out in the third, played our system a little bit better and our style a little bit better. So for us it was just not sticking to what we had to do win a hockey game.”
The Lightning employ a 1-3-1 system defensively, which forward Steven Stamkos admitted the team didn’t always stick to as the Bruins evened the best-of-7 series 1-1. The series resumes at the St. Pete Times Forum on Thursday.
“It didn't look like we were all on the same page,” said Stamkos, who had a goal and two assists in Game 2. “For whatever reason that was the case and that's something we need to address right away. I have full confidence that we're going to put the negative stuff that we did in that game behind us, focus on the positives and be ready for Game 3.”
The Lightning's previous loss was against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of the first round on April 20.
“It was something that you have confidence and you get used to,” Stamkos said of the streak. “But I think our team did a great job of not being content with it and always wanting more. You have to be a realist. You're not going to go from the second round of the Stanley Cup Finals and win every single game.”
Down 6-3 after two periods, the Lightning grabbed a little momentum back in the third as they cut it to a one-goal game and had several chances at the equalizer. Combine that comeback attempt with a victory in Game 1 that stole home-ice advantage, the Lightning arrived at Florida at around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday with a decent sense of accomplishment.
“We've reloaded emotionally throughout the first series and the second series,” Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. “So I don't see this one being any different. As a matter of fact, we should have more experience rebounding, maturing from that. Having said that, (it) doesn't necessarily mean we're going to win games, but we're for sure going to be more aware of the weaknesses we presented in the last game. We don't need to give them any more chances than they deserve.”
Boucher said that the Lightning could soon see defenseman Pavel Kubina --- out since Game 1 of the second-round series with a concussion --- back practicing soon. Boucher said earlier in the week that Kubina had suffered some setbacks in his recovery.
“Obviously we're not expecting him to play in the next game, but things might have progressed,” Boucher said.
-- A.J. Perez