PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: Pascal Dupuis #9 of the Pittsburgh Penguins battles in the corner against Mattias Ohlund #5 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Penguins defeated the Lightning 3-0. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Penguins Vs. Lightning, Game 3: Pittsburgh Wins, 3-2, To Take 2-1 Series Lead

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Penguins vs. Lightning, Game 3: Arron Asham Earning Contract In Playoffs

Tyler Kennedy scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and the Pittsburgh Penguins held on for a 3-2 win over Tampa Bay, taking a 2-1 series lead in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Despite the fact that the game came down to the final period, Lightning blog Raw Charge says "The Lightning lost the game in the first five minutes." Perhaps it was too much leftover emotion from the Game 2 win.

With a shaky start, likely overexcited from Friday's win and being back at home (or maybe the 15,000 rally drums had something to do with it), it took a while for the Bolts to gain composure against Pittsburgh.

It's playoff hockey, and everyone knows that small mistakes have a major impact. "It all comes down to the smallest details," Boucher said afterwards, mistakes that include managing emotions from the start of the game, and some defensive mistakes that led to the second and third goals for Pittsburgh.

Penguins blog Pensburgh is enamored with right wing Arron Asham, who scored the goal that put Pittsburgh ahead 2-0 Monday night.

I've said it once and I'll say it again - Asham is earning every penny of his contract in the postseason.  His Game Three goal gives him two goals and one assist in three games - or better yet, one point per game.  For a forth liner it's the sort of contribution that cannot be described by any word other than "clutch."

For more information on this game and series, please visit our Penguins site, Pensburgh and our Lightning site, Raw Charge.


Simon Gagne Fine After Chris Kunitz Hit In Game 3 Vs. Penguins

Simon Gagne has a nasty history of concussion problems, but after taking a blatent, disgusting elbow from Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz on Monday night during Game 3, he's in good health. 

Gagne didn't talk much about his health in his post-game comments other than to say that he finished the game and that he feels OK, but he did go into a lot of detail about what he thinks should happen to Kunitz as a result. Via TBO.com:

"There's a rule now in place for a hit to the head," Gagne said. "No elbows to the head. If you look at the replay, he's not even close to me and he just extended his elbow. And even the referee came and talked to me right after and asked me if I was okay. He saw what happened. Now it's up to the league. Nothing I can do about it."    

The referee may have seen what happened, but he certainly didn't make a strong call on the ice. Despite the horrifying visual of Kunitz sticking his elbow right into Gagne's head, the official only gave Kunitz a two-minute penalty for interference. That's not exactly what most people were thinking he deserved. 

Kunitz will face the NHL discipline chiefs on Tuesday, as he reportedly has a hearing scheduled. We'll see how long he'll be sitting for. 


Penguins Vs. Lightning Final Score: Pittsburgh Holds Off Tampa Bay For 3-2 Victory

The Pittsburgh Penguins entered the third period with a 2-1 lead, but emerged with a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning when the final horn went off. Tyler Kennedy had the game-winning goal nearly three minutes into the period.

Just over two minutes into the third period, Martin St. Louis had the equalizer when he scored his second power play goal of the game. But 30 seconds later, Pittsburgh was in Tampa's zone to score the final goal of the game. A shot from the blue line bounced around between players before Tyler Kennedy sent it off his blade and past Dwayne Roloson. The Lightning had a few chances as the clock wound down, but nothing was getting past Marc-Andre Fleury at the time.

The Penguins had a 2-0 lead in the first period of the game, but Martin St. Louis cut the lead to one when he scored a goal with less than five minutes left in the period.

With the exception of the second period, both teams put plenty of shots on net. The Pens finished with a slight advantage, 30-27, thanks in part to Tampa making just six in the second period.

The Penguins now lead the series, 2-1, and will stay in Tampa for one more game on Wednesday, April 20.

For more information on this game, please visit our Penguins site, Pensburgh, our Lightning site, Raw Charge, and our coverage here at SBNation.com.


Penguins Vs. Lightning Score: Pittsburgh Still Leads After Scoreless 2nd Period

The Pittsburgh Penguins continue to hold their 2-1 lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning after two periods of play. Martin St. Louis' goal at 15:19 in the first period remains the last goal recorded as we await the start of the third period.

While the first period saw a total of 23 shots between the two teams, there were only 15 shots in the second. The Penguins put up nine against Dwayne Roloson, while the Lightning could only make six shots against the Marc-Andre Fleury.

The Lightning had a great chance to score about nine minutes into the period when they had three skaters barreling down the ice, but they came up with nothing, barely even having a chance for a shot. With three minutes left in the period, the Penguins had a great chance with Jordan Staal around the net, but Roloson made a stop to prevent the puck from going through his five-hole.

For more information on this game, please visit our Penguins site, Pensburgh, our Lightning site, Raw Charge, and our coverage here at SBNation.com.


Penguins Vs. Lightning Score: Pittsburgh Holds Early Lead, But Tampa Bay Hanging Tough

The Tampa Bay Lightning certainly didn't start Monday's game with the Pittsburgh Penguins they way they would have liked. But they recovered toward the end of the first and entered the first intermission down just 2-1.

The game started out with a fast pace, having just two stoppages before the Penguins struck for their first goal. A little over five minutes onto the game, Tampa Bay's Scott Downie delivered a monster hit on Ben Lovejoy behind the Pittsburgh net, which was about to be called a penalty. However, Lovejoy got the puck to Maxime Talbot, who was able to put the puck past Dwayne Roloson for a 1-0 lead.

The Penguins maintained that momentum when they netted a second goal less than a minute later. Coming down the win with the puck, Mike Rupp got around the Tampa defender and then found the next one dropping to the ice. Rupp took advantage by passing the puck to Arron Asham, who scored the team's second goal from 19 feet out.

Taking advantage on their second power play of the period, the Lightning reduced their deficit to one goal when Martin St. Louis slipped one past Marc-Andre Fleury. Simon Gagne got two shots on Fleury before Martin St. Louis picked up the rebound and placed it in the back of the net.

For more information on this game, please visit our Penguins site, Pensburgh, our Lightning site, Raw Charge, and our coverage here at SBNation.com.


Penguins Vs. Lightning, Game 3: Tampa Hopes To Take Advantage Of Home Crowd

The Pittsburgh Penguins are looking to get back on track after dropping Game 2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning on home ice. The Lightning are looking to feed off the home crowd to take the series lead in Game 3. 

After shutting out the Lightning 3-0 in the first game of the series, the Pittsburgh Penguins gave up three goals in the first period and five goals overall in their 5-1 loss to the Lightning in Game 2. This is the first home playoff game for the Tampa Bay Lightning since April 22, 2007. In that game, the Lightning lost to the New Jersey Devils in the decisive Game 6 of that series. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins struggled all season on the power play and those struggles have carried over to the playoffs. They are 0 for 13 against the Lightning on the man advantage and need to find a way to capitalize on the man advantage. Mark Madden from the Beaver County Times had this to say about the Penguins powerplay:

It's too late to analyze the power play, 0 for 13 so far against Tampa Bay. Too late to fix it, too. When a power play has been that bad, for that long, the misery is so compounded there are no answers. The Penguins' man-advantage malaise dates back long before the beginning of this season and long before the injuries to Crosby and Malkin.

I don't know where to start when it comes to criticizing the power play. Nothing works. It looks like rec time at the insane asylum.

For the Lightning, they need to get their leading scorer out of his scoring slump. Steven Stamkos hasn't scored in the playoffs yet and while it hasn't hurt the team yet, Stamkos still needs to find the back of the net soon. Stamkos said as much before Monday night's game:

"It definitely bothers you," Stamkos said. "Trying to not let it is the hard part. Especially with the way things went in the last couple of years, you kind of expect it of yourself. You know your teammates count on you, as well, and your coaching staff."

"[The slump] is something that has been a little prolonged for my liking," he said. "But, at the same time, I've really picked up other aspects of my game that are going to need to be there in order to be successful, especially in the playoffs."

Game time is at 7:30 pm and can be seen on CBC in Canada and on Versus after the Flyers/Sabres game ends. For more information on this game, please visit our Penguins site, Pensburgh, our Lightning site, Raw Charge, and our coverage here at SBnation.com

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