2011 NHL Playoffs: Lightning Tie Series with Penguins; Look Ahead to Home Ice

Alison MyersCorrespondent IApril 15, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 15:  Eric Brewer#2 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his first period goal with his teammates during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the  Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on April 15, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Dwayne Roloson stopped 35 shots and Eric Brewer had a three point night as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 5-1 on Friday night.

Tampa Bay stormed out of the gates seeking revenge for Wednesday’s night’s shutout by scoring three goals in the first period. Vincent Lecavalier scored on a power play, while Nate Thompson scored on a 4-on-4. Brewer also added his first of the night in the opening frame.

Craig Adams scored the Penguins’ lone goal in the second period at 10:52. Arron Asham picked up the assist.

But it wasn’t enough for Pittsburgh. Martin St. Louis scored a power play goal with 14 seconds left in the second, and the Penguins could not recover. Mattias Ohlund scored an empty net goal in the third, and Tampa Bay heads home with a 1-1 series tie.

The Lightning win guaranteed that the series will go at least five games. Game 5 is scheduled for Saturday, April 23 at Consol Energy Center.


Key Players

Adams came up big at the right time, ensuring that he is continuing to earn his contract. He has six career goals in the postseason, and they all came during his time in Pittsburgh. He logged 13:59 of ice time tonight.

Simon Gagne posted his first set of postseason points for the Lightning with three assists. He previously had 47 points in several playoff runs with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Mark Letestu had quality scoring chances with seven shots tonight and had 17:18 of ice time. In his first two playoff games, he has won 53.8 percent of his faceoffs.


Who Missed the Mark?

Marc-Andre Fleury struggled tonight, making just 16 saves on 20 shots, including three goals on eight shots in the first period.

Pavel Kubina took four minutes of penalties, both of which were interference calls, in the second and third periods.

Pittsburgh’s special teams, particularly the power play, were mediocre tonight. The penalty kill, which was the cream of the crop during the regular season, surrendered two goals. The power play went 0-for-7.


What to Expect in Tampa

The two teams will now travel to Tampa for Games 3 and 4.

The Lightning have not hosted a playoff game since 2007, so there is no doubt the Lightning fans will be excited, especially since their team was able to win tonight’s game.

However, Penguins fans also travel well, and there are sure to be many black and gold jerseys in the St. Petersburg Times Forum. It should be a great atmosphere.

Look for Fleury to bounce back. Ever since November, he has never stayed down for long.

Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier are showing that they still have it despite each being in their mid-30s. St. Louis was back on the ice tonight despite having emergency dental surgery on Wednesday.

Steven Stamkos should be getting more comfortable as the series goes on. He has two penalty minutes and a minus-one in his first two playoff games. I expect Stamkos to make an impact once the series shifts back to Florida.


Other Notes

Tampa Bay defenseman Brett Clark got hit in the face with a puck during the game but was not seriously hurt.

The Consol Energy Center had a crowd of 18,507 for tonight’s game. It is the largest crowd to date in the new building and the Penguins’ 208th consecutive sellout.