On the Lightning's first attacking zone faceoff, Vincent Lecavalier won the draw back to Teddy Purcell who beat a screened Tim Thomas to the weak side and Tampa had the hot start it wanted, up 1-0 just 36 seconds in.
The Bruins answered with strong shifts by the Krejci and Rich Peverley lines, but Dwayne Roloson was solid when he needed to be early, despite almost handing a rebound to Nathan Horton in the low slot after Milan Lucic blasted a slapshot into the Tampa netminder's pads.
With Tampa struggling to create any sort of consistent backcheck, it was only a matter of time before the Bruins would get back in it, however, and get back in it they did when Milan Lucic got behind the 1-3-1 and used Victor Hedman as a screen, beating Roloson with a high slapshot.
It was exactly the kind of shot that's troubled the 41-year old Tampa goaltender all series, but it owed entirely to how the Bruins set up their attacking pass; Johnny Boychuk stopped a Tampa dump from getting deep and found Horton on the wall at center ice who hit Lucic in stride, returning Lucic's favor from the first goal Boston scored in game five.
When Ryan Malone went to the box for tripping Patrice Bergeron at 7:36 of the period, the Bruins power play went to work - it didn't generate any offense on the board, but held Tampa's killers in their own end for almost the full two minutes, ultimately drawing an icing infraction on the Lightning, leading Guy Boucher to call his team's lone timeout barely halfway through the first period. That's the sort of thing that's come back to haunt teams in the past.
After an uneventful five minutes that included a Boston power play which generated exactly zero shots, Tampa turned the puck over at their own blue line and it was Brad Marchand who found Krejci gaining the attacking zone. Krejci, with all the space and time in the world, roofed the puck over Roloson's shoulder to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
Guy Boucher will no doubt lament the two minor penalties against his team heading into intermission, but the fact remains that Boston was the better team for 20 minutes. They'll need to do it for 40 more to get a shot at Vancouver and Lord Stanley's hardware.
Boston outshot Tampa in a period for the first time in recent memory; it's worth noting that the Bruins are 2-3 in the playoffs when outshooting their opponents.
SOG: Boston 8 Tampa 4
Goals: Boston, Lucic (3) from Horton and Boychuk, 7:09; Krejci (8) from Marchand, 16:30. Tampa, Purcell (5) from Lecavalier, 0:36
Penalties: Tampa: 7:36 Ryan Malone, Tripping; 13:17: Eric Brewer, Tripping.