The Pittsburgh Penguins stole a page out of the book of the Tampa Bay Lightning in opening period of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal round matchup at St. Pete Times Forum on Monday night.
For once, they came out with the quick start en route to grabbing a 2-1 lead through 20 minutes in the process.
The Lightning pared the deficit to 2-1 on a power-play goal by Martin St. Louis at 15:19 of the opening period. Simon Gagne skated with the puck to the side of Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury before throwing a pass in front. St. Louis took one stab at the disk before backhanding a shot between the goalie and the post.
The Penguins opened a 2-0 lead on goals by Maxime Talbot at 5:46 and Arron Asham just 45 seconds later. Talbot's goal came off a transition following a tremendous body check by Tampa Bay's Steve Downie on Ben Lovejoy behind the Penguins cage. Instead of rallying the Lightning, however, the hit fired up the Penguins as Talbot eventually grabbed the loose puck and skated hard down his right wing before unleashing a wrist shot from the right circle that beat Roloson to the short side.
Asham's 8th career playoff goal came off a 2-on-1 breakout with Michael Rupp. After banking a pass to himself along the right wing half boards, Rupp spotted Asham streaking down the opposite wing and feathered a pass underneath a Tampa Bay defenseman. Asham easily snapped his attempt past Roloson for the two-goal lead.