BOSTON (AP) — Sean Bergenheim began a stretch of three Tampa Bay goals in 1:25 in the first period and the Lightning beat the Boston Bruins 5-2 in the opener of the Eastern Conference finals Saturday night.
Bergenheim, who scored just 14 goals in the regular season, got his NHL-high eighth of the playoffs at 11:15. Brett Clark connected at 11:34 and Teddy Purcell wrapped up the onslaught, both with unassisted goals.
The two goals in 19 seconds and three in 1:25 are club records.
Tyler Seguin, the No. 2 overall draft pick last year, scored for Boston with 4:01 left in the first period in his playoff debut.
Tampa Bay scored twice in the last 7 minutes — Marc-Andre Bergeron on a power play and Simon Gagne into an empty net — before Johnny Boychuk made it 5-2.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in Boston.
Both teams were coming off long layoffs after sweeping their previous series. It was the first game in 10 days for the Lightning and first in eight for the Bruins.
But the speedy Lightning showed little rust in an arena where they were just 4-25-6 before beginning their first playoff series ever against the Bruins. Tampa Bay, the 2004 Stanley Cup champion, won its eighth straight game.
The Bruins, in the conference finals for the first time since 1992, lost for just the second time in 10 games.
Tampa Bay capitalized on Boston mistakes to roll to the commanding lead.
Bergenheim scored after Tim Thomas made a save and Dennis Seidenberg tried to clear the rebound with his right skate after losing his stick. But the puck went right to Bergenheim and he beat Thomas from just in front of the crease.
It quickly became 2-0 when Clark skated all the way up the right side, passing at least two Bruins who let him go by, and scored his first playoff goal when he shoveled a backhander from the right side off Thomas’ right arm.
The third goal resulted from a giveaway from Bruins defenseman Tomas Kaberle. He had the puck behind his own net then skated to the left and lost control. An aggressive Purcell was there to take it away. Thomas stopped the first shot, but Purcell got his second goal when he put the rebound behind the NHL’s regular-season leader in goals-against average and save percentage.
Seguin played because Patrice Bergeron, one of the Bruins’ best players in the postseason, sat out because of a mild concussion.
The rookie, an outstanding offensive player who had been benched for the first 11 playoff games in part because of his defensive shortcomings, then did what he does best. He cut quickly between defensemen Mike Lundin and Marc-Andre Bergeron, sending an off-balance Lundin sprawling to the ice, and beat Dwayne Roloson with a forehand shot to the goalie’s left.
NOTES: A pregame moment of silence was observed for Derek Boogaard, the New York Rangers’ enforcer found dead in his Minneapolis apartment on Friday. … Tampa Bay’s previous playoff records were 55 seconds for fastest two goals (April 23, 2006 at Ottawa) and 3:07 for fastest three goals (May 27, 2004 vs. Calgary). … Gagne played after missing three games with a concussion. … Boston was scoreless on four power plays and is 2 for 41 in its 12 playoff games.