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Endgame: Lightning 4, Penguins 1

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

4 - 1
FINAL 1 2 3 T
1 1 2 4
PENGUINS 0 0 1 1

Post-Game: Dan Bylsma
Post-Game: James Neal
Post-Game: Kris Letang
Post-Game: Chris Kunitz
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Everything you need to know about the Pens' 4-1 setback to Tampa Bay:
How do the Pens outshoot Tampa Bay 34-18 and still lose? Two words: Dwayne Roloson.

The goaltender that frustrated Pittsburgh with transcendental play in last year’s postseason was at it again against the Pens Thursday night.

Pittsburgh actually did a great job of breaking the 1-3-1, establishing offensive zone time and creating chances. However, they ran into another outrageous goaltending performance by Roloson, who stopped 33 pucks.

“We did some things to get shots and chances and Roloson played really well,” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “He came up with some big saves. That’s the difference in the game. We did get those shots on net. We did have a lot of traffic, just didn’t come up with that goal and were fighting from behind.”

“We saw a lot of him last year in the playoffs,” James Neal said. “We had some good chances. Shot the puck a lot. He played well tonight. It’s tough, but we’ll see these guys again and we’ll keep doing the same thing.”

The game really turned in Tampa Bay’s favor when rookie Brett Connolly re-directed a shot from the point through Marc-Andre Fleury and into the net for a power-play score to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead.

Tampa scored two power-play goals in the contest, which are also the first two and only two power-play goals allowed by Fleury this season. The Pens went 0-for-7 on the man-advantage.

“Two power-play goals for them and us not cashing in on our opportunities, they win the battle 2-0 and that was pretty much the difference in the game,” Bylsma said. “They have good players and a good power play. They are going to score some goals. Unfortunately, for us tonight it was a factor in the game.”

The Pens had a great opportunity to get back in the game with a 5-on-3 power play late in the second period while training 2-0. But again, Roloson was clutch.

Their best chance came when Steve Sullivan made a sick pass through the crease to the tape of Malkin in the backdoor. His shot was met by the outstretched pad of Roloson to stop the chance.

Malkin hit a post earlier in the man-advantage, and Roloson went through a long stretch without a goalie stick. The Pens couldn’t make them pay for it though.

“You still have to get shots though and take advantage of what they’re giving you,” Chris Kunitz said. “They were doing a great job of taking away our shooters. They have guys that want to stop the puck as much as we want to score it. We have to get better at it. It will come.”

The Pens snapped Roloson’s shutout bid with 3:11 left in the game. Paul Martin found Tyler Kennedy, playing in his second game since returning from a concussion. Kennedy one-timed a shot from the top of the circles that blasted past Roloson for the goal.

Jordan Staal also assisted on the play. He now has six goals and nine points in his last eight games.

Author: Sam Kasan
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