Lightning advance with shutout of PensApr 28, 2011 - 6:52 AM
Sean Bergenheim scored for the Lightning, who came back from a 3-1 series deficit for the first time in team history. They also won their first playoff set since their run to the Stanley Cup title in 2004.
Tampa Bay advanced to face the top-seeded Capitals in an East semifinal series, which begins Friday in Washington.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves in defeat for the Penguins, who had reached at least the conference semifinals the last three years, but couldn't capitalize on three chances to clinch.
Pittsburgh's season, which was disrupted by injuries to stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, ends with the club's first first-round defeat since 2007. But the fact that the Penguins recorded 106 points and reached this point without their stars holds significance for head coach Dan Bylsma.
"That's the work ethic and the passion with which they played and the ability to continue to be a good team," Bylsma said. "That's what I think this year was about."
Wednesday's loss wasn't due to lack of trying, though. Pittsburgh peppered Roloson with shots but couldn't break through against the goaltender.
Roloson, 41, improved to 6-0 lifetime in elimination games, and 2-0 in Game 7s.
"It's one of those things that didn't have anything to do with me," Roloson said. "It was all about our guys. They did everything humanly possible to prevent them to get anything of good quality."
He was tested early and stopped 15 shots in a scoreless first period marked by a hard hit.
About halfway through, Lightning defenseman Mattias Ohlund checked Penguins forward Maxime Talbot in the back. Talbot went face-first into the boards and slumped down on the ice before eventually skating off, but no penalty was called.
Tampa Bay got on the board early in the second period, when Dominic Moore collected his own rebound by the right boards and started to skate behind the net. The Penguins defense and Fleury shifted their focus to the left side of the ice, apparently expecting Moore to emerge there with the puck.
But just as he got behind the net, Moore dished a backhand pass to Bergenheim, who went unnoticed and flipped in the one-timer at 5:41.
"We call him The Hustler," Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said of Bergenheim, who had a career-high 29 points in the regular season. "He's one of those guys the motor's revving every second. You don't think he's got that much speed, you don't think he has that much hands, and you don't think he's that big. He basically just does it all."
Fleury helped keep it a one-goal game midway through the second period, when he made a sliding glove save on a close shot by Pavel Kubina during a Tampa Bay power play.
But Roloson swallowed up every shot that came his way.
He held firm as Penguins forward Chris Kunitz made repeated attempts to stuff in the puck by the right post with two minutes to play. Roloson then kept the puck out of the net after Pittsburgh went on the power play with 1:33 remaining, gloving a dangerous rebound out of the air with 34.7 seconds to go.
Tampa Bay made a final clear to secure the win as the final ticks drained off the clock.
Tampa Bay went 3-1 at Pittsburgh's CONSOL Energy Center during the matchup...The Penguins went 0-for-5 on the man advantage...The Lightning are 3-0 in Game 7s in franchise history. Their other two victories came during their '04 Cup season...The Penguins are 8-2 in series all-time when they hold a three-games-to-one advantage. Their only other loss came in the 1975 quarterfinals, when Pittsburgh blew a 3-0 series lead to the New York Islanders.
- TAMPA BAY: 1
Apr 27 10:40 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 1
End of 2nd
Apr 27 9:44 PM
- Tampa Bay Goal - Sean Bergenheim (3), at 5:41.
Lightning 1, Penguins 0 2nd - 14:19Apr 27 9:15 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 0
End of 1st
Apr 27 8:49 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 0
1st Period - 19:42
Apr 27 8:11 PM
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