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Lightning Defeat Penguins 4-2, Force Decisive Game 7

Dwayne Rolson's 27 saves and a breakout game from Steve Downie helped pace the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night at the St. Pete Times Forum. The result erases a 3-1 series lead for the Penguins and forces a Game 7 on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

Downie's game winning goal, capping a three point night, broke a freshly evened scoreline just over a minute after Jordan Staal leveled the scores. Ryan Malone's breakaway goal a few minutes later all but sealed the deal.

It was the fourth time the Penguins had scored first in the series and the third time that they surrendered a lead, though only the first time they lost as a result of it.

The Penguins jumped on the board first, with Max Talbot stealing a poorly handled puck by Roloson and feeding Pascal Dupuis in front, giving the Penguins an early lead. But Teddy Purcell's goal at 16:23 of the first erased the Penguins early advantage and sent the teams into the dressing room tied at 1-1.

The second period was another relatively even, if choppy, affair highlighted by a goal and a gaffe. Sean Bergenheim's goal off of a feed from Dominic Moore gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead a little over five minutes into the period.

Chris Conner had a chance to tie the game back up a few minutes later after he was awarded a penalty shot. But Conner lost control of the puck on his way to the net during the opportunity and let loose a desperate shot that Roloson handled well.

The Penguins came out on the attack in the third and were rewarded for their actions when Jordan Staal was able to even the score up, finishing well from the high slot after a superb set up from by Matt Niskanen.

But Downie would score the eventual game winner shortly after and send the suddenly desperate Penguins home for a decisive Game 7.

Marc-Andre Fleury, known for his ability to bounce back after heavy losses, had a night to forget, making 17 saves on 21 shots.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.