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Bolts nip Pens, gain first playoff berth since '07

Apr 1, 2011 - 4:09 AM
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Martin St. Louis scored the eventual game-winner just after the midway mark of the first period, as the Tampa Bay Lightning snuck past the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-1, to secure a playoff berth for the first time since 2007.

Steve Downie also lit the lamp for the Lightning, who sit fifth in the Eastern Conference with 95 points. Tampa Bay trails the fourth-seeded Penguins by three points and remains six behind Washington for the top spot in the Southeast Division.

Dwayne Roloson made 36 saves for Tampa Bay, which has won three in a row.

"Credit goes to the players. They battled all year," Tampa Bay head coach Guy Boucher said.

Michael Rupp scored the lone goal for the Penguins, who remain four points back of the Flyers for first place in the Atlantic Division.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves in defeat.

Tampa Bay got on the board at the 4:51 mark of the first period. A scramble for a loose puck in front of the net resulted in Downie backhanding the disc past Fleury.

St. Louis made it 2-0 at the 10:13 mark of the opening frame. St. Louis picked up a loose puck along the right boards in the Pittsburgh zone, then fired a shot past Fleury's glove.

Roloson made six saves in the first and 14 in the second.

The Penguins got within one at the 4:31 mark of the third. Rupp's shot from along the left boards beat traffic in front and got past Roloson.

Roloson, though, stopped 16 shots in the third to secure the victory.

"We're getting chances. I liked our game tonight, minus some of the first period," Rupp said.

Game Notes

Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh split four games this season...The Lightning have won three in a row for the first time since February 23-27...Tampa Bay forward Ryan Malone returned to the lineup after missing 21 games with an abdominal injury.