BOSTON -- When the Bruins travel to Tampa Bay with the series now tied at one, the most challenging thing for Boston's coaching staff for Game 3 might just be who sits if, and when, Patrice Bergeron is ready to be inserted back into the lineup.
Because after the tonight's performance by 19-year-old rookie Tyler Seguin, there's no chance in the world that he heads back to the press box.
"He was extremely good tonight, there's no doubt about that," Head coach Claude Julien said of Seguin's performance tonight after their 6-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Lighting. "One of our best players out there."
After being the perennial healthy scratch all playoffs long, Seguin looked as the viewing from up-top as a learning experience, and an opportunity. One player, and one story in particular that Seguinremembers the most that helped him along the way was from the team's enforcer, Shawn Thornton.
During the second round, as the Bruins were in the midst of sweeping the Philadelphia Flyers, Seguin said it was Thornton -- a Cup winner in Anaheim -- that made him make the best of every situation.
"He said look kid, if we're going to the Cup you're going to get an opportunity to play because injuries are part of the game," Seguin said. "Have fun with it, enjoy the ride, take it all in and use it as a learning experience.
"So I looked at it, up top, as an opportunity as well. It was tough watching," said Seguin. "But I tried to take it as an opportunity. And when I got the chance to come in, I wanted to seize it."
And sieze it he did. After scoring a highlight-reel goal in Game 1, Seguin notched four points (2 goals) in 13 minutes 31 second of ice time.
"With my time off over the last couple of weeks, I've been working on driving to the net hard and picking up speed in the neutral zone," Seguin said.
"There were two D (in the neutral zone) I just tried to beat them with my speed and I just wanted to mix up the move and not do the same thing I did last game."
"He used his speed very well tonight," added the Coach. "He challenged their D's with it."
The Bruins once anemic power play woke up in Game 2, going 2-for-5 with the man-advantage. And for Seguin, who finally got his chance on the power play with 1:49 ice time, assisted on both of Ryder's goals -- the first one coming via the PP.
"He did a great job and it was nice to see him respond that way," Juien said. "He's competed extremely well. He's been an excited individual waiting for his opportunity and he's certainly making the best of it."
On Seguin's first goal, he took a pass from line-mate Michael Ryder through the neutral zone, turned on the jets, burned the Lightning defense, and snapped a wrister past Tampa's netminder DwayneRoloson, top-shelf over his glove.
Really with my time off over the last couple of week Ive been working on driving to the net hard and picking up speed in the neutral zone," Seguin said. "There were two D (in the neutral zone) I just tried to beat them with my speed and I just wanted to mix up the move and not do the same thing I did last game."
So now with the series all square at one-a-piece, it's a race to three more wins. The Bruins are expecting Bergeron to step back in for Thursday's Game 3. But when the team is clicking on all cylinders, confidence is high and chemistry is balanced, the B's will ride this momentum right into St. Pete Times Forum.
"Hopefully we get Bergy back. But In the meantime I think our guys, especially tonight, a lot of guys that have stepped in. Ryder scoring a couple of goals. Tyler obv playing without a doubt his best hockey of the season. So those are the kind of things you need in order to succeed when certain guys go down."