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Kennedy, Pens take 2-1 series lead over Tampa Bay

Apr 19, 2011 - 4:15 AM
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Tyler Kennedy scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and the Pittsburgh Penguins held on for a 3-2 win over Tampa Bay, taking a 2-1 series lead in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Kennedy, picking up a loose puck in front of the net, scored just 31 seconds after Martin St. Louis tied the game at 2-2 with his second power play goal of the game for the Lightning.

Maxime Talbot and Arron Asham scored first period goals to give the Penguins an early lead, while Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves after giving up four goals on 20 shots in Pittsburgh's 5-1 loss in Game 2 Friday.

The Penguins will look to extend their lead in Game 4 Wednesday in Tampa.

Dwayne Roloson had 27 saves for the Lightning in this one, but was unable to keep the Penguins off the board early.

Pittsburgh jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Talbot and Asham that were separated by just 45 seconds.

Talbot scored through traffic from above the right circle, while Asham was set up by Michael Rupp's pass under sliding Tampa defenseman Pavel Kubina, jamming home a one-timer from the left side at 6:31.

"To get those quick goals early, those were big," said Fleury. "It helps to play with a lead coming into this building. It helped me settle down a bit."

Later in the first, Pittsburgh's Alex Kovalev went off for goaltender interference -- he appeared to be cross-checked into Roloson -- and the Lightning cashed in for their first goal.

St. Louis deftly used his skate, kicking the puck to his backhand and beating Fleury in close on the right side with 4:41 left in the first period.

Roloson made nine saves and Fleury had six in a scoreless second period. But Fleury was caught scrambling and couldn't get back in time for St. Louis' shot from the bottom of the right circle, which tied the game at 2-2 just 2:12 into the third.

"They're tough to beat. We also know they're 29th in the league on comebacks in the third period," said Tampa Bay head coach Guy Boucher. "Obviously the team that has the lead going into the third has some sort of an advantage, but as you saw, we came back. We came back from two goals."

Kennedy, jumping on a loose puck after a long shot, gave Pittsburgh its lead back when he scored through a mass of down players at the other end of the ice.

"I like the way his line played tonight with Kunitz and Staal," said Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma. "Kennedy had some good chances tonight and again just going out steadying that shift with his play tonight. He also brings a threat winning the faceoffs, going to the net and adding an offensive punch when we needed it."

The Penguins later fought off a roughing penalty on Rupp, who was whistled for holding Lightning forward Ryan Malone down in the Pittsburgh crease.

Game Notes

This playoff series is the first-ever postseason meeting between these clubs...Pittsburgh was 0-for-2 on the power play, while Tampa Bay went 2- for-4.