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Downie's three-point game helps Lightning force Game 7

Apr 26, 2011 - 4:14 AM
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Steve Downie scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period, as the Tampa Bay Lightning staved off elimination again with a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal set.

Downie also had two assists for the Lightning, who destroyed Pittsburgh by an 8-2 score on Saturday to cut the series deficit to 3-2.

Ryan Malone had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay, which got a goal apiece from Sean Bergenheim and Teddy Purcell.

"I think our whole team stuck to our game plan and remained disciplined. Our penalty kill was great and everyone did an all-around job tonight," Downie said.

Dwayne Roloson made 27 saves for the Lightning, who will try to make team history in Game 7 on Wednesday at CONSOL Energy Center. Tampa Bay has never come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a series.

Pascal Dupuis and Jordan Staal lit the lamp for the fourth-seeded Penguins, who are 8-1 all-time when leading a series three-games-to-one. The only loss was in the 1975 quarterfinals, when Pittsburgh blew a 3-0 series lead to the New York Islanders.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 17 saves for Pittsburgh, which came into Monday's game with a 5-1 record in its previous six chances to close out a series on the road.

"It comes down to one now. We'll lay it on the line and do what we can to come out with a win," Penguins forward James Neal said.

Pittsburgh tied the game at 2-2 just 3:48 into the third period when Staal's wrister from the high slot got past Roloson.

The Penguins almost took the lead seconds later, but Roloson made three back- to-back-to-back saves.

Downie put Tampa Bay in front at the 4:55 mark. Fleury stopped Downie's original shot from in front, but the puck squirted loose. Downie chipped the disc under Fleury and into the net for a 3-2 lead.

Malone scored on a breakaway near the midway mark to give the Lightning a 4-2 lead. Pittsburgh dumped the puck into the Tampa Bay zone, but the puck took a weird bounce off the glass. Mattias Ohlund controlled the disc and made a great pass to Malone, who went in on a breakaway. Malone's slapper from the slot beat Fleury.

Roloson made 12 saves in the third to preserve the victory.

The Penguins drew first blood at the 8:23 mark of the first period. Roloson turned the puck over behind his net, and Maxime Talbot was there to gather the disc for Pittsburgh. He quickly passed in front to Dupuis, who found the back of the net.

Purcell tied the game with 3:24 to go in the opening frame. With Fleury on his back, Purcell jammed home a rebound.

Tampa Bay went ahead 2-1 at the 5:44 mark of the middle stanza. Dominic Moore gathered the puck behind the Pittsburgh net and made a nice backhand pass. With Fleury's head turned in the opposite direction, Bergenheim lit the lamp from the side of the net.

The Penguins were granted a penalty shot at 9:10, when Pavel Kubina tripped Chris Conner on a breakaway. Conner, though, lost control of the puck on the penalty shot.

Game Notes

Pittsburgh has yet to clinch a playoff series at home under head coach Dan Bylsma, winning each of its last five series-clinchers on the road...Pittsburgh fell to 13-13 all-time in Game 6, with a 6-8 road record... The Lightning were without defensemen Randy Jones (left ankle) and Matt Smaby (lower body)...The Penguins went 0-for-5 on the power play, while Tampa Bay went 0-for-3 on the man advantage...Roloson improved to 5-0 in elimination games...The Lightning will play in the third Game 7 in franchise history. They are 2-0 with wins in the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals (Philadelphia) and 2004 Stanley Cup Finals (Calgary).