NHL Playoffs, Tampa Bay Lightning Vs. Pittsburgh Penguins: Lightning Wins 8-2, Closes Penguins' Series Lead To 3-2

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Tampa Bay Lightning Defeat Pittsburgh Penguins 8-2, Close Penguins' Series Lead To 3-2

Some notes on the Pittsburgh Penguins humbling 8-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning:

  • The Lightning showed why it's imperative to keep them off of the power play. Their four goals (4-for-6) on the man advantage turned a comfortable lead into a humiliating one.

  • Comparatively, the Penguins' power play was inept once again. The power play unit was given plenty of opportunities in the 1st and 2nd periods to get back into the game, but, in finishing 0-for-6, squandered each of them.

  • This was also a prime example of why the 'shots on goal' statistic can be a meaningless one. The Penguins held a comfortable lead in shots, but all of Tampa Bay's goals came off of prime scoring opportunities, whether they were on rebounds or crisp passing combinations.

  • Steven Stamkos and Simon Gagne looked great when the game was still in question. The Penguins had done a great job nullifying Stamkos until today, and it was one of the main reasons Pittsburgh jumped out to a 3-1 series lead.

  • Don't bother blaming the loss on any individual players. This was a collective bed-wetting.

  • It was also just one game. As the Penguins showed in Game 3, they're more than capable of rebounding from a nasty defeat.

Scoring Summary:

1st Period

16:57 - TB -Simon Gagne 1 (Teddy Purcell, Vincent Lecavalier)

17:43 - TB - Steven Stamkos 1 (Steve Downie, Adam Hall)

2nd Period

1:55 - TB - Vincent Lecavalier 2 (Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis)

5:31 - TB - Simon Gagne 2 (Dominic Moore, Mike Lundin)

4:00  -TB - Steven Stamkos 2 (power play) (Eric Brewer, Martin St. Louis)

3rd Period

2:54 -TB - Pavel Kubina 1 (power play) (Teddy Purcell, Marc-Andre Bergeron)

5:45 -TB - Pavel Kubina 2 (power play) (Teddy Purcell, Steve Downie)

6:36 - PIT - Michael Rupp 1 (Alex Kovalev, Max Talbot)

8:22 - PIT -Chris Conner 1 (Max Talbot, Kris Letang)

15:35 - TB - Dominic Moore 1 (power play) (Sean Bergenheim, Nate Thompson)

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Lightning Tighten Screws On Penguins, Increase Lead to 5-0 After Two Periods

Any notion that the Penguins could mount a comeback against the Lightning were quickly dashed in the 2nd period as Tampa Bay scored three more goals, increasing their lead to 5-0.

A feisty Vincent Lecavalier got on the board early for the Lightning, scoring a 1:55 into the period to increase the visitors’ lead to 3-0. Simon Gagne bagged his second a little bit later, finally chasing Marc-Andre Fleury from the net and leading to Brent Johnson’s introduction.

But things didn’t fare much better for Johnson, who gave up another goal, Stamkos’ second, just over a minute after his introduction.

Adding to the Penguins’ misery is their 0-for-5 performance on the man advantage on thus far.

With the game all but over, the Penguins will need to focus on damage control in the 3rd period and, at least, try to slow the Lightning’s momentum before the trip back to Florida for Game 6.

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Marc-Andre Fleury Pulled In 2nd Period

Goals from Vincent Lecavalier and Simon Gagne in the first five minutes of the 2nd period were enough for Dan Bylsma to pull Marc-Andre Fleury’s, giving Brent Johnson his first playoff action of the series.

Fleury was pulled after making 10 saves on 14 shots.

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Gagne, Stamkos Score In 1st Period To Give Lightning Early Lead Against Penguins In Game 5

The Tampa Bay Lightning scored two quick goals near the end of the 1st period to take a 2-0 lead in their Game 5 contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Penguins dictated proceedings throughout most of the period before Simon Gagne opened the Lightning’s account. With about 3:03 remaining, the Canadian sniper finished off a slick passing sequence with a hard-angled, one-timed shot that Marc-Andre Fleury could do little about.

Moments later, Steven Stamkos emerged from anonymity to put a rebound past Fleury, increasing the Lightning’s lead to 2-0.

Brooks Orpik came closest to scoring for the Penguins with just under seven minutes to go in the period, letting loose a slapshot from the point that found it’s way through traffic before ringing off of Dwayne Roloson’s post.

The Penguins outshot the Lightning 13-8 in the period. They’ll have a chance to pull a goal back early as they carry a 1:27 in power play time into the 2nd period off of a roughing call on Vincent Lecavalier.

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NHL Playoffs, Lightning Vs. Penguins: Pens Try To Clinch First-Round Victory

The Penguins look to put away the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 of their NHL Playoff series. The Pens lead the series 3-1, and are heading home to Pittsburgh for Saturday's game, which starts at noon.

The Penguins won the last game of the series, on Wednesday, with Tyler Kennedy and Arron Asham scoring in regulation and James Neal finishing the game with an unlikely shot in the second overtime period. Asham's goal was his third in this playoff series - in the absence of key players like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, role players like Asham have stepped up in this playoff series.

With a 3-1 lead, the Pens certainly have a cushion here. But they won't want to allow the Lightning to force a Game 6. A Game 6 would mean a return to Florida, and the Pens won't want to give the Lightning a chance to tie the series with a win at home.

You can follow the game here and at PensBurgh.

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