2011 NHL Playoffs: Dwayne Roloson Steals Game 7 for Tampa Bay Lightning
Keep Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'...
At the St. Pete Times Forum, any time Dwayne Roloson makes a big save, the Limp Bizkit tune Rollin' serenades the crowd.
In Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Roloson kept his team rolling into the second round with an unbelievable 36-save 1-0 shutout of the home standing Pittsburgh Penguins.
Roloson, who came into the game statistically among the top goaltenders in the first round of the playoffs, had to be great, as his counterpart on the Pittsburgh side was just as phenomenal.
In what turned into an old fashioned goalie duel, Marc-Andre Fleury and Roloson turned away chances after chance trying everything in their power to keep their team in the hockey game.
Fleury and his defense made one single mistake and it was enough to send them home for the offseason.
For the second time in as many games, Lightning forward Dominic Moore caught the Pens with their pants down, as he glided behind the net, all three defensemen and Fleury took their attention to the opposite side of the net, allowing Moore to drop a no-look, behind-the-back pass to teammate Sean Bergenheim who buried it in a wide open net at the 5:41 mark of the second period.
The Lightning pressed for a second goal but Fleury rose to the challenge, robbing Pavel Kubina with a wicked glove save and stopping Adam Hall all alone in front.
What was the difference in the Lightning-Pens Series?
In the third period, the Bolts did all they could do to hang on as wave after wave of Pittsburgh rushes came at the Tampa Bay defense.
Each time the Pens seem to have something going, Roloson would shut the door.
Pittsburgh would go 0-for-5 on the power play, including one inside the final two minutes of the hockey game when Pens coach Dan Bylsma pulled Fleury for an extra attacker.
Even at 6-on-4, the Pens couldn't penetrate the Lightning penalty kill.
"Obviously, (Roloson) was amazing once again," Tampa Bay forward Steven Stamkos told the Associated Press. "He's just defying the odds. He was our MVP for sure, but we just battled hard. All we needed was one tonight."
"It really didn't have anything to do with me; it was all about our guys," said a modest Roloson, "They did everything humanly possible to prevent them from getting a quality (shot)."
As the sun sets on this tremendous first round series, the Lightning must steady themselves for whats ahead—the Washington Capitals.
For the Lightning, it's not anything to be afraid of. Unlike many of these teams in other divisions, there's no team the Bolts know better in the playoffs than the Caps...and there's no team Roloson loves to face more.
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