It started with a big hit behind the Bruins net early in the second period. Lightning winger Ryan Malone delivered it, lowering the boom on the Bruins' big bear, defenseman Zdeno Chara.

The rest is now part of Lightning playoff lore.

"Yeah, I think that hit is what started it,'' Lightning winger Simon Gagne said of the comeback that turned a three-goal Tampa Bay deficit into a thrilling 5-3 win on Saturday in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Gagne would know. He was the recipient of the turnover created by Malone's big hit and the set-up man on the Teddy Purcell goal that sparked the Lightning's rally.

Malone's hit knocked the 6-foot-9 Chara to the ground, something that doesn't happen often.

"It was a big hit, for sure,'' Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said. "But you know what, that's 'Bugsy.' That's what he does. He plays physical and he creates space for other guys.''

In Saturday's game he didn't just create space for other guys. He created goals for other guys. In particular, he created the winner for Gagne by creating havoc in front of the Bruins net.

"He went to the net and took (out) their two defensemen," Gagne said. "That's why I had the time to take my shot there, because he went to the net and he took that space away.

"He's a big power forward, and when you play teams like Boston and you're in the playoffs, you know you're going to need your big guys like that, and he really did a good job for us.''