Dwayne Roloson, who is 6-0 in elimination games in his career, will get the start in net for the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final with the Bruins. Roloson, who is 0-2 with a 5.64 goals-against average and .820 save percentage in his past three games, was benched in game 5 for Mike Smith.
Smith played well, stopping 17 of 19 shots in a 3-1 loss that gave the Bruins a three games to two lead in the best-of-seven series and pushed Tampa Bay one game from elimination.
Lightning coach Guy Boucher said he never lost confidence in Roloson.
"Well, I mean, he was the guy that took us here, and that's how I felt before last game; but like I said, I felt like it was time to give him a little breather," Boucher said Tuesday. "And at the same time I felt that Smitty played really well. So it's a perfect situation to put Smitty in. If something were to go wrong in the previous game, put a new goaltender in for a do-or-die, I don't think it would have been a good moment for anybody. So this is a perfect situation. He's going to be the only rested guy in the two teams."
Of course, the word "breather" raised some eyebrows, especially when talking about a 41-year-old goalie.
"He needed a little break like everybody else," Boucher said. "Whether you're a goaltender, defenseman or forward, I know players on both sides are getting more tired as the series are evolving. And it's normal. Everybody's expecting that. And your most important player is your goaltender. So he'll be rested."
In other news, Boucher said wing Sean Bergenheim, who has a playoffs-best nine goals, will be a game-time decision, though he added that if Game 6 was held Tuesday, Bergenheim would not play. Bergenheim was hurt in the first period Monday. It was believed he was hurt when checked by Boston's Dennis Seidenberg. But Boucher said the injury was not acute, but something that had been lingering and was aggravated.