PENGUINS at LIGHTNING
(Best-of-seven series tied, 1-1)
CBC (HD), ROOT (HD), SUN (HD)
The Lightning opened Game 2 on Friday with plenty of zest and emotion and the results were positive -- they scored their first three goals of this series in the opening 20 minutes en route to a 5-1 victory. This, after dropping a 3-0 decision in Game 1 against Penguins goalie Marc Andre-Fleury in the series opener. The Lightning, who received goals by Eric Brewer
, Vincent Lecavalier
, Nate Thompson
, Martin St. Louis
and Mattias Ohland, continually gained position in the slot, created traffic and generated tips and deflections. The five-goal outburst set a franchise playoff record for goals in a regulation time. Tampa Bay also scored five goals in an overtime victory against Philadelphia on April 21, 1996, the first home playoff game in team history.
The city of Tampa is preparing for its first home playoff game since April 22, 2007. In an effort to get forward Steven Stamkos
untracked, coach Guy Boucher had him working with different line combinations throughout Game 2. While Stamkos is still without a point in two career playoff games, he was generating better scoring opportunities near the cage in 17:46 of ice time. Stamkos is a minus-1 with two shots on goal against the Pens in the series.
"I don't want him thinking about scoring, I want him to be thinking about competing and fighting because that's what the playoffs are all about," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. "It's not about skill, it's everything but skill, and then the skill comes out once in a while."
Despite the lopsided loss on home ice, the Penguins aren't in panic mode. In fact, the club feels comfortable playing on the road -- the team won a franchise-record 24 games away from Consol Energy Center this season. Not that it means much right now, but the Pens are 6-1 in their last seven Game 3 road matches.
"In a situation like Friday, where they get a three-goal lead, they put very little energy into the offensive side of the puck or being aggressive," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "They clogged it up with their 1-3-1. We have to come up with some better answers for getting through there and getting some pressure into the offensive zone with some speed and gaining the puck. That's something we'll have to address."
Tampa Bay left wing Simon Gagne tied a playoff career high by picking up three assists in Friday's Game 2 victory against Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson
is picking up where he left off during the regular season -- he sports a 1.51 goals-against average and .960 save percentage in two playoff games against the Pens.
Tampa Bay forward Martin St. Louis
took an accidental stick to the face from Zbynek Michalek
in Game 1 on Wednesday and lost three teeth, but he returned to the lineup on Friday and chipped in with a goal and one assist. Defenseman Randy Jones (ankle) and Matt Smaby (lower body) are day-to-day. … Sidney Crosby
, who continues to take part in morning skates, didn't speak with reporters following Game 2 and still hasn't been cleared for contact.
The Penguins finished 0-for-7 on the power-play in Game 2 and are now 0-for-13 in the series. Pittsburgh, which finished 25th in the League with the man advantage in the regular season, has converted just 6 of its past 79 power-play chances over the last 25 games.
During the regular season, Tampa Bay was the only Eastern Conference team with a better-than-20-percent success rate on the power play (20.5). On Friday, Tampa finished 2-for-6 against the NHL's best penalty killers (86.1 percent).
"When the power-play works, it gives you momentum and we had the No. 1 power-play in the conference so it needs to be one of our strengths," Boucher said following Game 2. "When we get power-plays, we want goals, but if we don't get goals we want to at least keep momentum going. That's what we did on Friday -- there were times we gained momentum because we played hard with the man advantage. We want to make sure we keep that power-play mentality in 5-on-5 situations as well."