All summer long, NHL Network will be replaying the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs — from every jaw-dropping goal to every highlight-reel save to every crushing defeat.
Each game of the postseason — spanning the more than two-month period from the opening round to Boston’s Game 7 clincher of the Stanley Cup Final — will be shown on the Network throughout the off-season.
Fans can tune in at 8 p.m. ET nightly for a different game — and different chance to re-live history. A complete program schedule can be found on NHLNetwork.com.
With a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line for Boston, and postseason elimination hanging in the balance for Tampa Bay, it would have been logical to predict that Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals would be a tight and tense affair. Instead, the crowd at the St. Pete Times Forum was treated to a wild, high-scoring contest.
The Lightning’s big trio of Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos broke out in a big way after combining for only 1 goal and 3 points in the previous three games. Just 36 seconds into the opening period, Lecavalier won a faceoff back to Teddy Purcell, who fired a wrist shot past Tim Thomas and just inside the right post to give the Bolts an early 1-0 lead. After the Bruins took a 2-1 edge by dominating the rest of the first period, St. Louis tied the score midway through the second with the first of three power-play goals in less than 13 minutes for Tampa Bay. Purcell notched the second of the three, putting the Lightning ahead 3-2 with his second goal of the night and his team-leading fifth of the series. Stamkos added the third extra-man goal just 34 seconds into the third period, providing the Bolts with a two-goal cushion at 4-2.
The Lightning had been 2-for-18 on the power play in the first five games of the series, but scoring on three consecutive chances gave them a lead they wouldn’t relinquish — despite David Krejci’s best efforts. After tallying in the first period, Krejci scored two more goals in the third — each time cutting the deficit to one goal — and recorded Boston’s first postseason hat trick since Cam Neely accomplished the feat in 1991. Krejci and St. Louis ended the night tied for the League lead with 10 postseason goals, as St. Louis added another goal midway through the third that put Tampa Bay on top 5-3 and proved to be the game-winner.
Krejci’s third goal made the score 5-4 with 6:32 remaining, but the B’s were unable to get the equalizer past Dwayne Roloson, who was back in net after Mike Smith started Game 5. The 41-year-old veteran continued his unbeaten run in elimination contests, improving his record to 7-0 in those instances in his career, including 4-for-4 this year. Roloson wasn’t as sharp as he normally he is in elimination games though, allowing four goals on just 20 shots. Fortunately for him (and the entire Lightning team), Lecavalier, St. Louis and Stamkos stepped up in a must-win situation and combined for 3 goals and 8 points. The play of the “big three” was the main reason Tampa Bay staved off elimination with a 5-4 victory, tying the series at three games apiece and forcing a decisive Game 7 back in Boston.
About the Author
Written by Andy Salazar
I believe there are only two essential things for sports writing ability. They are a vast knowledge of things most human beings care little about and an abundance of free time. Luckily I usually have both working for me. I attend Boston College and write for the sports section of The Heights on campus. I'm from Colorado Mountains though and also root hard for the Yankees, Giants and Knicks.