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Composure gains more importance for Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins in East final

The Lightning’s Ryan Malone, left, gets in a shoving match with Bruins captain Zdeno Chara in a game Dec. 28.


The Lightning’s Ryan Malone, left, gets in a shoving match with Bruins captain Zdeno Chara in a game Dec. 28.

TAMPA — The last time the Lightning and Bruins met, on March 3, the teams combined for 44 minutes in penalties, including a fight and a pair of 10-minute misconducts, as well as penalties for roughing, cross-checking and high sticking.

With a ticket to the Stanley Cup final on the line, there likely won't be any shenanigans when the teams meet in the Eastern Conference final beginning Saturday. But the Lightning still is preaching discipline because the Bruins, particularly at home, are a physical team known for trying to goad opponents into bad penalties.

"Throughout the playoffs, discipline is huge," C Dominic Moore said. "It's a case where you want to keep your emotions in check. Obviously, everyone is excited to be where we are, but you've got to stay focused on the task at hand."

That might mean backing away from a face wash, skating away from a punch to the back of the head and not taking a dumb retaliation penalty to give the Bruins a man advantage.

"The last thing you want to do is get out of your structure because the team becomes emotional," coach Guy Boucher said. "That's what happened in the first games of the Pittsburgh series (the Lightning fell behind three games to one in the first round), and we corrected that."

Now the Lightning needs to carry that attitude against a team that makes it tough to turn the other cheek.

"We've kind of pushed the envelope with the penalties we've taken in both of the previous two series," D Eric Brewer said. "It's certainly something we're very aware of, and it's something we're going to rein in for sure."

TALKING 'BOUT PRACTICE: The Lightning takes today off after a spirited, longer-than-normal 90-minute practice Tuesday that included a four-on-four scrimmage. LWs Ryan Malone and Sean Bergenheim did not practice; both were given rest days and will play in Game 1 of the Boston series. LW Simon Gagne, out since Game 1 of the Capitals semifinal series with a head injury, participated in full practice without restrictions. D Pavel Kubina, also out since Game 1 of the last round with an apparent head injury, didn't skate. Boucher said D Randy Jones (high ankle sprain) is fine and available to play but still not 100 percent. Jones played in the last three games of the sweep of the Caps but for a total of 19 minutes, 11 seconds.

ODDS AND ENDS: The Lightning said it will play a preseason game next season in Quebec City against the Canadiens. … Swedish G Viktor Fasth, who has drawn interest from the Lightning, continues to impress in the world championships in Slovakia. Sweden's player of the year is 4-0 with three shutouts, a 0.50 goals-against average and a .983 save percentage. The Rangers and Oilers also are believed to be interested in Fasth. … With Boston C Patrice Bergeron out for at least Game 1 with a concussion, rookie Tyler Seguin, last year's No. 2 overall draft pick, is expected to play his first NHL postseason game. Chris Kelly is expected to move up and take Bergeron's spot on a line with Brad Marchand and former Lightning W Mark Recchi.

Composure gains more importance for Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins in East final 05/10/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 10:07pm]
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