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Pens-Bolts Game 3: In-Game Blog

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins


FINAL SCORE: PENGUINS 3, LIGHTNING 2

0:00: Craig Adams with a huge block as time expires, and that's game! The Pens hold on for a 3-2 win over the Lightning and regain a 2-1 edge in the series!

1:20: Martin tries to make a pass to Kunitz, but it's too far for the Pens forward to get a stick on and Pittsburgh is whistled for icing. The Bolts elect to pull Roloson. Empty net for Tampa Bay.

3:31: The boards seem pretty lively at St. Pete Times Forum, as a shot banks off the back wall to the front of the net. TK tries to corral it but isn't able to.

5:51: Huge kick save by Flower on Bergenheim after he collects a loose puck in the neutral zone!

6:44: ...And the Pens clear right away, allowing Bylsma to get the personnel on the ice that he wants out there.

6:55: Bylsma has elected to use his timeout after the Pens are whistled for icing after a long shift.


A couple of pics of the big screen outside of CONSOL Energy Center



8:23: A puck takes a weird bounce right to the stick of Bergenheim. He rips a point-blank shot at Flower, who turns it aside! No one knew where that puck was besides those two!

11:12: Conner gets some space around the blue paint, slides to the side of the net and patiently waits to send a shot to the cage with Roloson down, but somehow the Bolts goalie gets a skate on the puck!

12:11: Absolutely huge kill by the Pens!!!

14:12: Malone is wide open in the slot with a puck heading to his waiting blade -- but Rupp swoops in, lifts his stick and averts the danger! But after a pileup ensues in front of the cage, Rupp's getting a pair for roughing. Pens head to the PK.


The finished Jordan Staal poster on the side of CONSOL. He's got shoulders now!

17:17: After Staal wins an offensive zone faceoff after the Lightning are called for icing and TK sends it back to the point, Orpik unleashes a cannon on net. Kennedy swoops in and sends the puck home!!! Great response by the Pens! Penguins 3, Lightning 2

17:48: St. Louis stuffs home a rebound that Fleury can't get to in time. Penguins 2, Lightning 2

18:48: Martin gets tangled with Lecavalier as the Bolts close in on the cage and he's going to get called for interference. Pens on the PK.

19:06: The Bolts are whistled for an early icing call.

20:00: Puck drops. Game on. Third period is underway!

THIRD PERIOD



SECOND PERIOD NOTES
- The human wrecking ball (aka Kris Letang) has five shots and five hits
- Michalek also has five shots and leads with 17:24 of ice time
- Talbot is 7-of-10 on faceoffs
- Rupp has four hits

0:00: That'll do it for the first. The Pens have held onto their 2-1 lead and are outshooting the Bolts by a 21-17 margin.

1:09: Martin throws off Bergenheim by dropping to the ice to block a potential shot, which opens the door for a backchecking Letestu to snatch the puck and clear the zone.

1:17: Bolts back to full strength.

2:49: Someone call the police, because Neal just got robbed!!! I don't know how that chance didn't go in! He picked up the rebound on the back door and just couldn't get enough lift on the puck to get it over Roloson's outstretched pad!



3:17: As Downie is pressured on the half wall, he clears the puck over the glass and is getting two minutes for delay of game. Pens on the PP!

3:42: As the players battle to unearth a puck in front of the Pens bench, tempers flare and the whistle blows to settle everything down.

4:13: Orpik sends a blast to the net that's awkwardly gloved by Roloson.

6:22: Another big win in the dot for Talbot. He's 5-of-7 on faceoffs so far tonight!

6:46: Pens manage to get past the 1-3-1 trap and get the puck to the net, but Roloson plucks it off the side of the cage and holds on for the faceoff.


...This is too awesome for words. I want to try this.

9:42:
After Orpik absorbs a high, hard hit from Dana Tyrell that has him slow to get up, Orpik gets right back in the play and makes a pretty pokecheck to send the puck harmlessly into the corner. Welcome to playoff hockey.

11:21: HUGE defensive work by the Pens just now!!! The Bolts got a 2-on-1 rush on Michalek after a high clearing attempt by Roloson sent them on their way (with Lovejoy getting back late to make it a 2-on-2). Tampa Bay get a few good opportunities, but the Pens backcheck hard, take the body and lift sticks to keep the Lightning from corraling rebounds.

12:19: Michalek lays his body on the line to thwart a 4-on-2 Lightning rush!!! The Kunitz-Staal-Kennedy line had a great shift right before that scoring chance.



13:33: Tanger is having an awesome game so far. He's jumping up in the rush and using his wheels to become an outlet for his teammates as they enter the Bolts zone. I really like the way he's played so far tonight.

14:06: The Pens are really utilizing their points and getting them involved in the play. It's opening up a lot of space for Pittsburgh to work with the puck.

15:36: Big block by TK on a defensive zone faceoff! He then makes a smooth breakout pass to Staal, who feeds Letang for the shot.

16:30: Rupp powers his way behind the Bolts D to receive a pass from Asham and embarks on a mini-breakaway! He gets a shot off but Roloson makes the save. Huge game from No. 17 so far tonight.



18:08: Bolts back to full strength.

18:32: Letang fakes a shot then dishes to Kovy on the back door, but the puck deflects off his stick and out of play!

19:19: Kovy rips a shot on net that Roloson barely gets a piece of!

19:59: Pens start the period with 1:39 left on their power play.

20:00: Puck drops. Game on. Second period is underway! Note: Pittsburgh native Ryan Malone is questionable to return to the game with an upper-body injury.

SECOND PERIOD



FIRST PERIOD NOTES
- Letang already has three hits
- Lovejoy has thrown his body in front of three shots
- Michalek has three shots (lots of three-related stats this period)
- Orpik leads with 8:56 of ice time, while Staal is close behind with 8:16 minutes

0:00: That's it for the first. Pens hold a 2-1 lead and shots are even at 11.

0:21: After Letang touches up for an icing call and play stops, Lecavalier sidles up and checks a Pen into the boards after the whistle is blown. That's going to get him two minutes in the sin bin for unsportsmanlike conduct. Pens on the PP to end the period!

1:26: Sean Bergenheim gets a point-blank opportunity, but Flower is up to the task!

2:22:
Lots of back-and-forth play between the teams right now, as neither one can really establish any offensive-zone time.

4:41: The Bolts furiously attack the cage and are rewarded when a puck bounces to a crashing St. Louis, who does a nifty little deke to his backhand as Fleury is looking for the rubber and finds the back of the net. Penguins 2, Lightning 1



6:31: Kovy is somehow being sent to the box as he's checked into Roloson and whistled for goaltender interference. Pens back to the PK.

6:42: Neal with a phenomenal shift just now!!! He stickhandled in the corner while holding off two Bolts defenders to create some space for himself to dish a pass to Kovy. Neal then picks up the rebound on Kovy's shot before gobbling up that rebound and ringing it off the post, but is knocked down while shooting at an open net!

7:11: Kunitz is released! The Pens did a fantastic job on that PK of not letting the Lightning get set up.



8:15: Tenacious PK-ing by Dupuis and Talbot, capped off with a great clear by Orpik.

9:14: Lovejoy with a beauty of a sliding block on Simon Gagne to thwart what could have been a dynamite Bolts scoring chance! But Kunitz is getting whistled for elbowing on the play. Pens heading to the PK.

10:35: After the Pens dump the puck in the Bolts zone but can't keep it contained, Fleury plucks a St. Louis shot out of the air and holds on for the faceoff.

11:48: Fleury robs Stamkos, who's looking for his first-career playoff goal.



13:29: Lightning coach Guy Boucher wisely uses his timeout to steady his troops, as the Pens have stunned both the home team and crowd by getting to their game right off the hop!

13:29: The Pens' fourth line is at it again!!! Rupp banks the puck to himself around a stunned Hedman, then manages to slide a perfect backhand pass under a sliding Pavel Kubina straight to Arron Asham. Asham goes down on one knee to one-time a blast past Roloson! Penguins 2, Lightning 0

14:14: After Steve Downie leaves both feet to drill Ben Lovejoy behind the net, Max Talbot connects with a snipe from the high slot on the delayed penalty call! Lovie really took one for the team on that play and he's rewarded with an assist! Penguins 1, Lightning 0

15:57: The Pens are practicing what they preached, as they've gotten Game 3 off to a good, fast start. They're penetrating the zone and establishing offensive zone time.



18:01: Tanger gets his helmet knocked off as he takes the body on a Lightning rush spearheaded by Victor Hedman. Great play by 58 to stifle the pass option.

19:11: Fleury stretches the pad out and stones Teddy Purcell on a great scoring chance! Just seconds earlier, the Pens had a couple of quality opportunities on Roloson.

19:45: The Pens force the Lightning to take an early icing, and the Kunitz-Staal-Kennedy line gets on the ice for the faceoff.

20:00: Puck drops and they're off in the Sunshine State!

FIRST PERIOD



7:31 PM: The Bolts are starting with the line of Simon Gagne, Vinny Lecavalier and Marty St. Louis up top, Mattias Ohlund and Brett Clark manning the points and Dwayne Roloson getting the nod between the pipes.



7:30 PM: The Pens are using the same lines as they did for Games 1 and 2. Engelland, Comrie, Tangradi and Godard are scratched.

Kunitz-Staal-Kennedy
Neal-Letestu-Kovalev
Dupuis-Talbot-Conner
Rupp-Adams-Asham

Orpik-Letang
Martin-Michalek
Niskanen-Lovejoy

Fleury gets the nod between the pipes.



7:00 PM: Today's quote of the day comes from veteran Pascal Dupuis, who was with the Pens for both of their Stanley Cup Final runs in 2008 and 2009. He knows from experience that if the Pens change their game, they're in trouble. They just need to limit the mental errors they made in Game 2 and be more disciplined.





6:55 PM: Welcome everyone! Unlike the beautiful weather in Tampa – 87 degrees and sunny – the forecast is calling for rain here in Pittsburgh after what was a gorgeous Monday morning and afternoon.

I had planned on blogging tonight’s pivotal Game 3 from the huge 16x9 HD big screen set up in the Mellon Arena south parking lot, but Pittsburgh’s potential finicky weather conditions have prevented that from happening. Instead, I’ve set up shop at my normal location in the confines of CONSOL Energy Center and plan to blog Game 4 from the big screen on Wednesday.

The main themes that came out of both locker rooms today seemed to focus on the intangibles, primarily the emotions that are sure to be coursing through the St. Pete Times Forum as the venue is hosting its first Lightning playoff game in four years (and the loud noises, seeing as the organization is giving the first 15,000 fans rally drums!).

The Bolts don’t want to be overwhelmed by the atmosphere and channel the excitement, while the Pens want to quiet the crowd early by getting off to a good, fast start and staying focused and composed. Steve Mears succintly summed it up in today's edition of Penguins Insider:

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