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Pens Will Need To Mount First Third-Period Comeback Effort of Season, Down 1-0 To Tampa

The Pittsburgh Penguins were the only team in the NHL that lost every game they played in when they were losing at the second intermission.

If they can’t change that, their season will be over.

Sean Bergenheim scored a goal in the second to make it 1-0 Tampa, and though Pittsburgh has played with a lot of spirit and desperation since that point, they’ve been unable to beat Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson.

Bergenheim’s goal came in almost the exact same manner as what he scored in Game 6. Tampa center Dominic Moore darted behind the net, forcing Marc-Andre Fleury to leave the near post, but instead of wrapping the puck around, Moore passed over to Bergenheim in both games. And somehow, for the second game in a row, the defense slipped and gave Bergenheim a free look at the net.

To be fair, Fleury has made the right play each time. The goalie must react to the player who has the puck in that situation. If he makes a pass, a defender must neutralize it, or not give the player that much time behind the net to make a clean pass. In both cases the Pens have failed to do so.

Regardless, Pittsburgh has to dig deep now. They’re down to their last 20 minutes and they need to mount a come back. In sports too often do we say it’s “now or never” but for the 2010-11 Pittsburgh Penguins, it literally is now or never.

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