Lightning battle back, still fall to Penguins 3-2

In the second, the Lightning and Penguins were both held off the scoreboard, with the Penguins holding a 9-6 shot advantage.

In the third, the Lightning struck again on the power play early in the third period when Marty St. Louis connected again for his third goal of the postseason. St. Louis somehow got the puck behind Fleury who was awkwardly out of position trying to cover the net.

The Lightning looked like they were going to grab momentum right back at this point but it was Pittsburgh who found a way to answer, when on a scramble in front of the net, Tyler Kennedy beat Roloson to give the Penguins the lead once again. A lead they would hold even with a last minute scramble by the Lightning that saw them do everything but score.

For Marty St. Louis, tonights game was what playoff hockey is all about.

“It was playoff hockey,” St. Louis said. “You have to expect that every game. There’s not much room and you really have to fight for your space and bring the puck to the scoring area. I didn’t think we did enough of that tonight, but we dug ourselves out of a pretty big hole, down 0-2. It’s tough to come back in the playoffs. We did it, but we gave it right back right away.”

Tonight was the perfect example of a team responding to the hypothetical punch to the gut, and that is slowly becoming the theme of this series in the early going. The Lightning responded to a tough loss in game two, and now the Penguins have responded in game three. It is now up to the Lightning to find a way to respond in game four. This series is still very much there for the taking, but the Lightning need to get back to their game. There were times tonight when they got away from that. Maybe it was nerves playing at home, maybe it was just mistakes, but they have to find a way to get back to playing Lightning hockey in order to have success.

As for what the Lighting need to do better Wednesday? St. Louis may have said it best.

“We have to come out of the gate hungry and flying. These are big games.”

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Just like that, the Penguins answered right back.

After a game two thrashing of Pittsburgh, the Tampa Bay Lightning took to the ice in front of a raucous crowd at the St. Pete Times Forum on Monday night, hoping to grab the lead in the series and hold on to the home ice they had earned. Instead, the Lightning fell behind early, battled back, only to see the Penguins answer back and skate away with a 3-2 victory.

In a similar scene to game two, one team jumped out to a quick lead, but this time, it was the Penguins. Max Talbot opened up the scoring with his first goal of the postseason just six minutes into the game on a shot that Dwayne Roloson said changed directions on him, deflecting off a stick. The Penguins would add to their lead less then a minute later when Victor Hedman missed a check near the bench and allowed Mike Rupp to skate right by him. Rupp found Arron Asham in the slot, who beat Roloson to extend the lead to 2-0. For the suddenly hot Asham, it was his second goal of the postseason.

The Lightning answered back, though, right before the end of the first period though when - who else? - Martin St. Louis got the Lightning on the board on the power play. For St. Louis it was his second goal of the postseason, and it was an important one. It stopped the bleeding and gave the Lightning, and the building, life going into the second period.

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