May 24, 2011 1:25 AM by Lee Douglas
BOSTON (AP) - Tim Thomas stopped 33 shots after allowing another early goal, and Brad Marchand scored the game-winner to lead Boston to a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night and put the Bruins one win away from the Stanley Cup finals.
The victory gave Boston a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals, with a chance to clinch Wednesday night in Tampa Bay. The Lightning would need to win Game 6 to force a seventh game in Boston on Friday.
Nathan Horton scored to tie it in the second period, 17 seconds after returning from the penalty box. Marchand scored with 4:04 left in the period to give Boston a 2-1 lead.
Boston managed just 19 shots on Mike Smith as he made his first career playoff start in place of Dwayne Roloson.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)