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Boston Bruins rookie Tyler Seguin comes on strong against Tampa Bay Lightning in playoffs

Forward Tyler Seguin celebrates after the Bruins take a 3-2 lead in the second period. He scores twice in the win.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Forward Tyler Seguin celebrates after the Bruins take a 3-2 lead in the second period. He scores twice in the win.

BOSTON — When it was brought to Steven Stamkos' attention that some had compared Bruins prized rookie Tyler Seguin to him, the Lightning star called it flattering.

But as Stamkos started talking about Seguin's blend of speed, skills, smarts and shot, he paid the 19-year-old a pretty big compliment himself.

"He's going to be a great player in this league for a long time," Stamkos, 21, said.

Seguin gave the Lightning a glimpse of that potential Tuesday night, scoring two goals and adding two assists in the Bruins' 6-5 win in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final.

"He played unbelievable," forward David Krejci said. "He was dominant."

Seguin, the 2010 No. 2 pick who was a healthy scratch in the first two rounds, also scored in his playoff debut Saturday night, giving him six points in two games and sparking the TD Garden crowd to chant his name during Tuesday's game.

"Obviously, it's a great compliment," he said, smiling.

Most of the talk before the game was when injured star center Patrice Bergeron (mild concussion) would be back for the Bruins. But by night's end the player who replaced him had stolen the show.

Seguin's first goal, which tied the score 48 seconds into the second, was highlight-reel worthy. Taking the puck in the neutral zone, Seguin blew past Lightning defensemen Victor Hedman and Randy Jones, splitting the two at the blue line before making a nice deke and backhand past sprawled-out goalie Dwayne Roloson.

"He went up the ice just flying," Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier said. "He's a great skater, he's a smart player and he's been playing great. We're definitely going to have to keep an eye on him."

Seguin had just 22 points in 74 games during the regular season (11 goals, 11 assists), saying it was a "learning curve," but he grew more comfortable and confident. With the Bruins wanting to bring Seguin along slowly, he anxiously waited for his chance, watching the first two playoff series from the press box.

He said teammate Shawn Thornton approached him before the East semifinal against the Flyers with some advice.

"He said, 'Look, kid, if we're going to the Cup, you're going to get an opportunity to play,' " Seguin said. " 'Have fun with it, enjoy the ride and take it all in.' "

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@sptimes.com.

Boston Bruins rookie Tyler Seguin comes on strong against Tampa Bay Lightning in playoffs 05/17/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 12:47am]
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