The winner of the second period has won three of the five games in this series, so it makes sense that both Boston and Tampa felt like they had to give a big effort in the middle frame of game six.
The Lightning started the second period with the same push they made in the first, but Tim Thomas continued to keep the rubber from getting past him and the Bruins' counter-attack held and made Dwayne Roloson do some work early.
Tyler Seguin wasn't doing anything but skating his responsibility when he caught Victor Hedman's stick in the mouth just a couple minutes in. It wasn't a penalty that Guy Boucher could dispute, but it was one that his team killed well, preventing the Bruins from setting up in the attacking zone and, perhaps more importantly, protecting their goaltender from facing any wrist shots.
Once back to full strength, Tampa put the heat back on, getting the puck deep and forcing Tim Thomas to work behind screens, but the Flint, Michigan native responded, continuing to stop everything he saw. Tampa's successful screening did create a few choice rebounds, but because the Lightning's forwards were too focused on the cycle, they weren't in position to convert them into goals.
A strong shift by the David Krejci line created a number of chances for the Bruins, but Boston was reluctant to take chances with the puck and wound up skating around with it more than they needed to.
When Tampa was able to stack the Bruins back in their own zone, a Dennis Seidenberg cross-checking penalty put the Lightning on the power play and it took them less than 20 seconds to make it count, when Martin St. Louis converted one of those rebounds after Thomas had lost his stick.
The Bruins answer was to quickly create a power play chance of his own, as Eric Brewer was helpless against a Milan Lucic forecheck and went for interference. The Bruins power play created some looks, the best of which was when Michael Ryder pulled the puck out of a scrum and tried to lift it, but wound up shooting it right into Roloson's chest.
After four unsuccessful power plays and an even more unsuccessful penalty kill, the Bruins were looking like they'd left Tampa after special teams chances all series - deflated.
But Tampa, content to play the role of bully, wasn't done, kicking Boston while they were down. The Bruins had spent 90 seconds doing an excellent job killing a Rich Peverley interference penalty, but Teddy Purcell was left alone at the bottom of the right left face-off circle and Thomas wasn't able to get his body in position to stop Purcell's wrister that gave Tampa the lead back.
Thomas was obviously upset after the goal, which he had with his blocker but still let it get in between his arm and body, slamming his stick on the ice.
Frustration started to mount as the period wound down, with Tampa generating more chances and getting in Tim Thomas' face much more than anyone in a white sweater wanted to see. Andrew Ference went to the box late in the period for cross-checking Steven Stamkos in front of the Boston net, and the Bruins responded by getting a partial break with Patrice Bergeron leading the way into the Tampa zone, but they weren't able to get the puck to the net before Tampa got back defensively.
Tampa (7-0) hasn't lost when leading after two; Boston (0-6) hasn't won in the playoffs when trailing.
SOG Boston 6 (14) Tampa 12 (16)
Goals: Tampa: St. Louis (9), PPG from Lecavalier and Stamkos, 7:55, Purcell (6), PPG from Downie and Clark, 13:35.
Penalties: Tampa: 1:52 Hedman, High-Sticking; 8:03 Brewer, Interference. Boston: 7:39: Seidenberg, Cross-Checking; 11:52: Peverley, Interference; 19:05: Ference, Cross-Checking.