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game recap

Lightning 4, Penguins 2

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:46 AM

Associated Press

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Lightning 4, Penguins 2
Pittsburgh Penguins 2, Tampa Bay Lightning 4

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The Tampa Bay Lightning had the playoffs in mind when they acquired Dwayne Roloson, and the 41-year-old goaltender hasn't disappointed them.

Avoiding elimination for the second time in three days, the Lightning beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 Monday night to force a Game 7 in their first-round Eastern Conference series.

Roloson led the way with 27 saves, three of them from point-blank range to begin a sequence that led to Tampa Bay's Steve Downie snapping a third-period tie at the other end of the ice.

"Goalies have to be outstanding in the playoffs. ... That was a key moment. It was an uplift for the team," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said.

That's exactly what Tampa Bay had in mind when it acquired Roloson from the New York Islanders on New Year's Day. He went 18-12-4 in 34 games following the trade, helping the Lightning make the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Roloson gave up a soft overtime goal in Game 4 before bouncing back to help Tampa Bay stay alive. He made 31 saves on the road in Game 5 and came up big again Monday when he rejected Maxime Talbot twice and Pascal Dupuis once before Downie gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead.

"Rollie's been doing that all year. He's been making save after save for us since he's been here," Downie said. "We expect that from him, and he expects that from himself."

Game 7 is Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, where the fifth-seeded Lightning already have won twice this postseason, including an 8-2 Game 5 blowout that began their comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the series.

"We just played two Game 7s because that is the position we are in," Boucher said. "That fifth game was a do or die for us, and the sixth was a do or die."

Downie scored just over a minute after Jordan Staal gave the fourth-seeded Penguins life with a goal that made it 2-2. Teddy Purcell, Sean Bergenheim and Ryan Malone also scored against Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who faltered for the second straight game.

The Lightning killed off four penalties in the second period, when Pittsburgh also failed to score on Chris Conner's penalty shot that could have tied it.

"It's a seven-game series. They're a good team," Penguins forward James Neal said. "We've played them hard all series long. It comes down to one now. Lay it out on the line ... do what we can, and come out with the win."

Pulled after yielding four goals on 14 shots in Game 5, Fleury couldn't protect an early lead and struggled again when Pittsburgh looked as if it had regained momentum.

The Penguins goalie was spectacular in Game 1, delivering an acrobatic 32-save performance that produced his fifth career postseason shutout. He's been shaky in the Penguins' three losses and allowed the Lightning to rally from two-goal deficits in two games Pittsburgh went on to win.

Still, Fleury expects the Penguins to regroup and win Game 7.

"We know we can play," Fleury said. "I'm still positive and think we can do it."

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma also expects his team to benefit from having more playoff experience than Tampa Bay, which features nine players who are appearing in their first NHL postseason series.

"I think there is something to be drawn from the emotion and experience of playing Game 7. Do or die for both teams," Bylsma said.

"I think we'll lean on some of those experiences, but we also have to play the game," Bylsma added. "We have to go out and play the game and not just talk about what we've learned in the past. It's a different team. It's a different year. We'll have to be ready and refocused to play that game."

NOTES: The Penguins continued to struggle on the power play, going 0 for 5 to drop to 1 for 30 in the series. ... For the first time in the series, the team that scored first failed to win.

scoring summary
1st Period
08:23
PIT
Pascal Dupuis (1) ASST: Maxime Talbot (3)
1 - 0 PIT
16:36
TBL
Teddy Purcell (1) ASST: Ryan Malone (1), Steve Downie (4)
1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
05:44
TBL
Sean Bergenheim (2) ASST: Dominic Moore (2), Steve Downie (5)
2 - 1 TBL
3rd Period
03:48
PIT
Jordan Staal (1) ASST: Matt Niskanen (1), Tyler Kennedy (1)
2 - 2 Tie
04:55
TBL
Steve Downie (1) ASST: Vincent Lecavalier (4), Simon Gagne (5)
3 - 2 TBL
09:34
TBL
Ryan Malone (1) ASST: Mattias Ohlund (1)
4 - 2 TBL
penalty summary
1st Period
08:30
PIT
Alex Kovalev  Hooking against  Dominic Moore
14:28
PIT
Kris Letang  Interference against  Ryan Malone
2nd Period
00:32
TBL
Mattias Ohlund  Roughing against  James Neal
06:32
TBL
Sean Bergenheim  Hi-sticking against  Chris Conner
09:39
TBL
Mattias Ohlund  Hooking against  James Neal
15:39
PIT
Chris Kunitz  Tripping against  Teddy Purcell
17:19
TBL
Ryan Malone  Elbowing against  Pascal Dupuis
3rd Period
05:26
TBL
Ryan Malone  Interference on goalkeeper against  Marc-Andre Fleury
05:26
TBL
Victor Hedman  Roughing against  Chris Kunitz
05:26
PIT
Chris Kunitz  Roughing against  Victor Hedman
goalie stats
Marc-Andre Fleury
SA: 21TOI: 58:50
Saves: 17EV: 13 - 17
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: .810SH: 0 - 0
Dwayne Roloson
Dwayne Roloson
3-3-0
SA: 29TOI: 59:24
Saves: 27EV: 19 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 8
SV%: .931SH: 0 - 0