Final: Bruins 1, Lightning 0: The Bruins are going to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 1990. Nathan Horton’s goal with 7:33 remaining in the third period is the only score of the game. They’re celebrating on the ice here at TD Garden, just as they’re celebrating on Canal Street and in Brighton, Charlestown, and South Boston.
0:44 Fast and furious now as Tampa tries to tie it. Lightning were trying to get Roloson off for about 30 seconds and couldn’t make it happen. Faceoff at neutral ice means he’s back in net for the moment. One last push.
4:54 A two-on-one for Marchand and Ryder comes up empty and Ryder’s shot runs smack into the left pad of Dwyane Roloson. Good for the Bruins to keep attacking, rather than sit back and wait for the Lightning to try and equalize.
7:33 Nathan Horton breaks the tie and the Bruins lead, 1-0. Beautiful feed by David Krejci finding Horton cutting to the net. Horton just had to put a stick on it and loft it into the webbing.
10:37 Milan Lucic fires a shot on not directly off of the faceoff. If you can’t draw it back, might as well put the puck on goal. Save by Roloson.
12:40 Still no score. Steven Stamkos keeps going to the bench to get cotton swabs stuffed up what’s left of his nose. Unbelievable he’s still in the building, nevermind playing this game.
13:51: The third period is underway, and it’s more of the same intense hockey. Peverly and Marchand both stopped on the doorstep by Roloson.
Second intermission stats update: Ference and Horton lead the Bruins with five shots apiece. Seidenberg has played 18:21, Chara 16:25. For the Lightning, Eric Brewer has played 16:15, while Teddy Purcell leads with three shots. Bergeron is tops among Bruins forwards with 19 shifts.
End of the second period, Bruins 0, Lightning 0: Two periods down. No goals. No penalties. And numerous good scoring opportunities, particularly for the Bruins, who have fired 29 shots on Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson without anything to show for it. The Bruins could (should?) have at least 2-3 goals — Roloson robbed Marchand twice late in the period.
The Lightning have 17 shots, but they’ve had their chances, particularly off turnovers in the neutral zone, and Thomas has given up some juicy rebounds. Stamkos was on the doorstep late in the period, but Tomas Kaberle — yes, Kaberle — lifted Stamkos’s stick just in time.
17:56: The Bruins are just peppering Roloson, but he’s stopping everything with equal helpings of luck and skill. Twice a shot has ricocheted over his shoulder but hasn’t found the net. He now has 28 saves.
17:19: Dominic Moore breaks in right to left across the slot and creates a good chance, but Thomas makes the save, then covers the puck in the scrum as Peverley and Blair Jones, among others, scramble for it.
15:46: Seguin stickhandles in on Roloson, but his bid sails wide. The kid has played well tonight.
14:50: Stamkos is wearing a full shield, and let’s just say it’s obvious in closeups that the shot was a direct hit on his nose.
14:24:Krejci nearly gets one with a spinning wrist-shot from inside the left faceoff circle. Looked like he surprised Roloson, but he still managed his 24th save.
13:37: The Bruins are still carrying play with nothing to show for it. Feels like a matter of time before they get one here.
11:55 Bruins continue the relentless rush at Roloson. Peverley and Bergeron both have had excellent close-range chances in the last couple of minutes.
11:27: Stamkos is back, just a few minutes after taking a puck traveling at, what, 90-something miles per hour off his shield. That’s a hockey player for you.
9:47: Thomas makes perhaps his best save of the night, stoning Simon Gagne after a rebound bounced out to him in the high slot.
7:30: Roloson has been extraordinary. Eighteen saves so far. The Bruins’ forwards have remained relentless, though, and Seguin has come close on at least two occasions to picking off a pass and breaking away.
5:04: Scary moment, and more evidence that wearing a face shield is a good idea. Stamkos takes a Boychuk rocket off the shield after it deflects of Martin St. Louis’s stick. He falls to the ice, then immediately pops up and skates to the dressing room, his hand over his face. Surprisingly, Bergeron didn’t not shadow him to the dressing room.
4:17: Bruins now doubling up the Lightning in shots, 18-9. Two ways to look at this, I suppose: They’re out-playing them and it’s a matter of time before they get one. Or, the Lightning have to be pleased that they’ve held their ground so far.
2:14: Thomas smothers a sneaky backhand attempt from behind the net by Teddy Purcell. Excellent awareness by the Bruins goalie.
1:54: Horton is back on the ice. Good news for the B’s.
1:09: Bergeron’s vision is incredible. He from the corner gloveside of Roloson, he digs out the puck and feeds Recchi at the far post. He couldn’t pull in the pass cleanly, but it was a heck of a chance initiated by No. 37.
Second period, Bruins 0, Lightning 0: Horton was on the bench at the end of the period. He played 4:29 and six shifts, but none in the final 10 minutes.
First intermission stats update: No penalties called so far. Bruins have 15 shots, Lightning nine. Eric Brewer leads Tampa Bay with 7:46 of ice time on 13 shifts. Nine Lightning players have attempted shots. For the Bruins, Chara and Seidenberg are carrying the load with 8:55 and 9:30 of ice time, respectively. Andrew Ference leads with three shots, while Peverley, Seguin, and Marchand each have two. Bergeron leads the forwards in PT at 6:41.
End of first period, Bruins 0, Lightning 0: No one got on the scoreboard, but it was a spectacular first period. Rich Peverley stood out among the Bruins forwards and got rewarded with some extra shifts, while Patrice Bergeron was effective shadowing Steven Stamkos. Defensively, Zdeno Chara was everywhere. For the Lightning, Roloson stood out in net, most notably stoning Lucic with a little less than five minutes left in the period. He had 15 saves while Tim Thomas had nine.
As far as Horton’s injury is concerned, it appears something may have happened to his right knee on the hit. No official word on anything, though.
19:31: Horton took a hit earlier in the game from Blair Jones and struggled to get to his feet. Looked like he might have banged his head on the ice.
17:48: Nathan Horton has gone to the dressing room for the Bruins. And Peverley, as you’ve probably noticed since he’s been everywhere, is taking some of Mark Recchi’s shifts on the second line.
17:41: No penalties so far. Letting ’em play in Game 7.
15:12: Peverley sends Lucic in all alone, but he shoots it into Roloson’s pads trying to go five-hole on the forehand. A golden opportunity gets away there.
13:34: Michael Ryder, who is playing with energy, feeds Seguin in the left slot, but Roloson kicks it away. One of the Bruins’ best chances among their 10 shots on net so far.
12:48: Krejci chips the puck to Milan Lucic near the blue line, but he can’t skate around the Lightning defenseman to turn it into an opportunity.
11:39: No scoring, but plenty of good chances so far, and the pace remains rapid. Rich Peverley has been everywhere.
8:07: Dennis Seidenberg wins a one-on-one battle with Vincent Lecavalier near the right faceoff circle. If you’ve wondered why he’s leading the Bruins in ice time during the series, it’s plays like that.
6:13: Tyler Seguin, skating with Bergeron and Chris Kelly, nearly has something after Kelly sends him in with a centering pass, but one Lightening defenseman is back and Seguin’s shot trickles harmlessly at Roloson.
5:05: Shots are now 5-4 in the Bruins favor after Patrice Bergeron gets a couple of a close range chances before Dwayne Roloson covers the puck.
3:22: Lightning gets three shots on Thomas in a span of about 20 seconds, with Dana Tyrell getting the best look from near the right post. Thomas juggled the puck and fell to the ice as it bounced into the corner.
2:26, first period: Incredibly loud in the Garden, and not an empty seat to be found. Each team with one shot so far.
Final moments of pregame: Derek Sanderson is the Bruins’ legend chosen to fire up the crowd on the scoreboard tonight. The Turk. Outstanding choice. It’s not like Espo is going to do it.
If you didn’t know this was a Game 7, you could probably surmise as much by the atmosphere at the Garden. Bruins highlights both recent and from the distant past are playing on the big screen. The “let’s go Bruins” chants have broken out multiple times. “Lose Yourself” follows “In The Air Tonight” on the PA system. The puck drops in four minutes. Will the Bruins capture the moment, or let it slip? Follow along right here while we find out.