BOSTON (AP) — Tyler Seguin had two goals and two assists and the Boston Bruins fed off the energy of the recently promoted rookie to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-5 and tie the Eastern Conference finals at one game each on Tuesday night.
Boston earned a split at home and snapped the Lightning’s eight-game winning streak that began when they were down 3-1 to Pittsburgh in the first round. Game 3 is at Tampa Bay on Thursday.
The Bruins have won nine of 11.
The shifty, 19-year-old Seguin, the second pick in last year’s NHL draft, was benched for the first 11 playoff games because of perceived defensive shortcomings. He rejoined the lineup for the series opener, getting a goal and an assist, when Patrice Bergeron sat out because of a mild concussion.
On Tuesday, with Bergeron still sidelined, Seguin tied it at 2 just 48 seconds into the second period then made it 4-2 at 6:30. Vincent Lecavalier cut the Lightning’s deficit to 4-3 with a power-play goal at 7:48, but Seguin set up two goals by Michael Ryder that put Boston on top 6-3 entering the third.
Steven Stamkos and Dominic Moore scored in the final period for the Lightning.
Adam Hall gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead 13 seconds after the opening faceoff, the quickest goal in the team’s playoff history. In their opening 5-2 win, the Lightning set club postseason records with two goals in 19 seconds and three in 1:25, all in the first period.
Nathan Horton tied Game 2 with a power-play goal at 13:58, but the Lightning took a 2-1 lead when Martin St. Louis scored with 7 seconds left in the first period.
The Bruins came out aggressively in the second period and scored five goals.
Seguin started the barrage when he took a pass from Ryder at his blue line and used exceptional speed to race between Tampa Bay defensemen Randy Jones and Victor Hedman. Seguin went in alone on Dwayne Roloson, cut from right to left, and lifted a backhander over the sprawling goalie.
David Krejci put the Bruins ahead for good at 2:24 with the only Bruins’ goal of the second period that didn’t involve Seguin.
Boston’s Tim Thomas stopped Ryan Malone on a breakaway and, 22 seconds later, Seguin connected again at 6:30. Skating in on the right, he called for the puck. Horton passed from the left, and Seguin put in a 10-footer to the left of Roloson.
After Lecavalier cut the lead to one at 7:48, Seguin sparked the Bruins again.
His shot from the top of the right circle hit Ryder’s leg in front of the net. It slid to the left where Ryder gained control and beat Roloson at 16:16 on a power play.
The crowd chanted, “Tyler Seguin, Tyler Seguin.”
And he wasn’t through.
In the final minute of the period, he made a backhand pass from the left boards to Chris Kelly, stationed about 15 feet in front of the net. Roloson made the save but Ryder converted the rebound.
Roloson, who entered with the NHL’s best goals-against average and save percentage in this year’s playoffs was replaced at the start of the third period by Mike Smith after allowing six goals on 27 shots. Smith stopped all eight shots he faced in the third.
Boston got a scare when Stamkos scored at 3:47 of the third period, and Moore made it 6-5 at 13:15. But the Bruins held off the Lightning, ensuring that the series will return to Boston for a fifth game.
Notes: Roloson allowed only 25 in Tampa Bay’s first 12 playoff games. … The Lightning took a 1-0 lead for the seventh straight game but fell to 8-1 when scoring first in the playoffs. … Bruins center Marc Savard, who missed most of the season with a concussion, watched in street clothes from a box in the stands. … Patriots coach Bill Belichick waved and smiled to the crowd when shown on the video screen beside girlfriend Linda Holliday.