In the end, try as they may, the Pittsburgh Penguins just couldn’t dig deep enough to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Pens had a 14-5 shot edge in the third period and that doesn’t even speak to the zone domination they displayed, controlling the play and pressing desperately to score a goal. They just didn’t catch a break and Dwayne Roloson had all the answers.
For the Penguins 2010-11 will always be a “what could have been” season, having to play the entire half without Sidney Crosby, who was well on his way to having a historic season. And the loss of Evgeni Malkin to a knee injury drove the final spike in the coffin. The team rallied and hung tough all year long, but as tonight so clearly displayed, the Pens just didn’t have that needed skill to put the puck in the net.
The power play will finish 1 for 35 in what will haunt fans and players all off-season. If they could have cashed in even a time or two more, it could have been a different story. But it’s not.
Congrats to the Tampa Bay Lightning, for coming back from a 1 game to 3 disadvantage and being able to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. They will meet the top ranked Washington Capitals, and the Philadelphia Flyers will take on the Boston Bruins in the other matchup.
For the Pens, it was an admirable effort, but at the end, they just didn’t have the juice to compete.