Tim Thomas and the Boston Bruins showed the rust early on, giving up three goals in one minute and 25 seconds midway through the first period and the Tampa Bay Lightning emerged with a 5-2 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night at TD Garden.
Boston had ample opportunity to get back into the game, but failed to convert on all four power play chances in the game. The Bruins were out shot, 34-33, and lost the faceoff battle, 41-26.
Sean Bergenheim put the Lightning on top with his goal at 11:15, and Brett Clark followed it up with a tally of his own at 11:34. Teddy Purcell capped off the scoring barrage for Tampa Bay, finding the back of the net at 12:40 to give his team a commanding 3-0 lead.
Tyler Seguin provided the Bruins with one of their few bright moments in the game, scoring his first career playoff goal in his first postseason game at 15:59 in the opening period (assisted by Michael Ryder and Rich Peverley).
Neither team scored in the second period, and Tampa Bay put the icing on the cake in the third period with goals from Marc-Andre Bergeron at 13:37 and Simon Gange (empty-netter) at 17:29.
Chris Kelly scored the Bruins' second and final goal of the night at 18:59 of the third period, but the game had already been decided. Kelly's goal was assisted by Johnny Boychuk and Seguin.
Thomas had 27 saves on 31 shots while Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson turned away 31 shots on 33 attempts. Boston hosts Tampa Bay in Game 2 of the series on Tuesday night at TD Garden.