Tampa Bay Lightning
7:00 p.m., St. Pete Times Forum
As I stated before in game day before game three that would be the game to see who took control for the first real time in the series. The Penguins game out and absolutely stunned every Lightning fan. Tampa chipped away on two power play goals, but it was the Penguins who showed the true character. TK got the decider about 40 seconds later to beat Roloson.
If the Penguins go back to Pittsburgh up 3-1 in the series then it will be very hard for Tampa Bay to make any kind of comeback. This is almost a must win for the Lightning tonight. If they can't win in front of their home crowd with almost everything on the line they they won't be able to take two games in Pittsburgh, along with one at home.
Lets not get it twisted with my last statement, the Lighting are going to come out. Much like in game two the Penguins are going to have to come out and weather the storm. The Penguins did not do that the last time and got behind three goals before they even knew what was going on. It will be much of the same for the Lightning tonight and the Penguins must be technically sound to shut down the Lightning. I really think the Penguins will learn from game two when they looked out to lunch for must of the first period but they need to force Tampa Bay into playing their game.
In three games I think Roloson has done a pretty nice job for Tampa Bay and kept them into the game when the Penguins were really getting some nice chances. You have to think that Roloson is just going to fall into himself as this series growns longers and I wouldn't be surprised to see one of those games either tonight or Saturday when it comes back to Pittsburgh. No reason for me thinking that, but just a hunch. Maybe that is what this Penguins offense needs though, I mean hell look at what happened to Chicago, Los Angles and San Jose yesterday, their offenses just went off.
Anyone have any idea when Tampa Bay scored a goal that was a power play goal? Me either. Needless to say the Pens need to play smart and not take any stupid penalties and limit the power play that has scored almost at will against the Penguins PK unit.
Should be an interesting game and hopefully the Penguins can play some more 5-on-5 hockey than they have been and take control of the series and potentially close it out on home ice.
Previous Series Games:
Game 1 - Pittsburgh 3, Tampa Bay 0
Game 2 - Tampa Bay 5, Pittsburgh 1
Game 3 - Pittsburgh 3, Tampa Bay 2
The Penguins probables (these are a pure guess, Pens were pretty tight lipped about who was going to paly for Kunitz, I assume it is Tangradi and I would assume he would fit right in Kunitz' spot):
James Neal - Mark Letestu - Alexei Kovalev
Eric Tangradi - Jordan Staal- Tyler Kennedy
Pascal Dupuis - Max Talbot - Chris Conner
Mike Rupp - Craig Adams - Aaron Asham
Kris Letang - Brooks Orpik
Paul Martin - Zbynek Michalek
Matt Niskanen - Ben Lovejoy
Marc Andre Fleury
For the Lightning:
Simon Gagne - Steven Stamkos - Steve Downie
Nate Thompson - Vincent Lecavalier - Martin St Louis
Adam Hall - Dominic Moore - Dana Tyrell
Ryan Malone - Teddy Purcell - Sean Bergenheim
Victor Hedman - Pavel Kubina
Matt Lundin - Eric Brewer
Brett Clark - Mattias Ohlund
The Playoff Stats: