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Message from little-used Seguin -- chew on that, coach

by | CBS Sports

BOSTON -- Tyler Seguin's biggest impediment during the playoffs hasn't been the Tampa Bay Lightning or anybody else wearing skates or grasping composite sticks.

It was the guy who stood behind him on the bench in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final.

Seguin, the No. 2 overall selection by Boston last June who is playing now only due to injury, scored twice and added two assists in the Bruins' 6-5 victory at TD Garden on Tuesday night. Bruins coach Claude Julien, prompted by reporters why he has used the speedy 19-year-old so sparingly, replied a couple days ago that he wanted to "give him a little bit to chew."

Well, Seguin went Hometown Buffet on Tampa Bay, which entered on an eight-game winning streak. Unlike earlier in the playoffs, not even Julien could ignore Seguin.

Bruins-Lightning: Game 2
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"He was extremely good tonight, there's no doubt about that," Julien said after he utilized Seguin more than 13 minutes (four more than in Game 1). "He used his speed really well tonight. He challenged their [defensemen] with it. He did a great job. It was nice to see him respond that way."

On a night that began with the quickest goal in Tampa Bay history as Adam Hall scored 13 seconds into regulation, Seguin entered the record books as well with his second-period performance. He had four points to equal a franchise playoff record for the most in a period, a mark reached three times previously, most recently by Ken Linseman in 1985.

It will also be known as the first game the "Tyler Seguin" chant could be heard here.

"I heard when they put him on the power play for the first time," said veteran Boston forward Mark Recchi, who was in his fourth NHL season when Seguin was born. "Everybody got pretty excited and then we scored a goal right away. It was great to see for the kid. He's worked hard."

Seguin tied the game on a breakaway goal -- not too different from his tally a game prior -- 48 seconds into the second period. After the Bruins took their first lead of the series on David Krejci's team-leading sixth goal of the playoffs, Seguin scored on a 2-on-1 break with an assist from Nathan Horton.

Seguin then added two assists: a slap shot from the point that bounced off Roloson and Michael Ryder wristed in the putback on the power play and a no-look pass to Chris Kelly that set up Ryder's second in less than four minutes.

Seguin has three goals and three assists in his first two playoff games. (US Presswire)  
Seguin has three goals and three assists in his first two playoff games. (US Presswire)  
"Maybe I'd be surprised if someone else [did that]," Kelly said of the no-look pass. "Not him. He's capable of making those plays. There's a reason why he was chosen second overall and lead the [Ontario Hockey League] in scoring last year. He's a great offensive player."

So, why didn't we see him sooner? It's actually a question Seguin asked himself a few times.

"Whenever I face adversity, I always try to take a negative and turn it into a positive," said Seguin, who was left off Canada's World Junior Championships team last year. "Whether it's going from World Juniors and going back to OHL or being in the press box and coming back to the team, I want to take advantage of every opportunity."

Seguin, finished with 22 points (11 goals and 11 assists), only gained entry into the lineup after Patrice Bergeron went down with a concussion on May 6. While he has missed the first two games of the series, he has returned to practice and is expected to travel with the team to Tampa.

"I know the injury came and it's tough losing one of your best players, Bergie," Seguin said. "I wanted to take advantage of my ice time, whatever it may be and stay consistent with that. Tonight I thought I had another sharp game. If the opportunity comes again the next game, I'll try to do the same."

This was a chance that Bruins forward Shawn Thornton predicted he would get as he sat and observed the first two rounds from the press box.

"I remember a specific time," Seguin said, "where Shawn Thornton came up to me in the second round and he said, 'Look, kid if we're going to the Cup, you're going to get opportunity to play just because injuries are part of the game. Have fun with it and enjoy the ride and take it all in and use it as a learning experience.'"

Now, he's teaching the Lightning -- and maybe just as importantly, Julien -- some lessons.


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