Lightning Strikes: Hard Work Forces Steel City Game 7, Bolts Win 4-2

By on April 26, 2011

Dave Jarvis with Rick Sassone

Tampa, Fl. [RSEN] –Tonight even the most hardened Pittsburgh Penguin fan had to appreciate the effort the Tampa Bay Lightning showed in beating the Pens.

The number one star Steve Downie working hard as he scores the game winner. (photo by Kim Klement/US Presswire)

Number one star, Steve Downie working hard, scores the game winner. (photo by Kim Klement/US Presswire)

Coach Guy Boucher made a statement when he started Vinny Lecavlier, Marty St. Louis, and Steven Stamkos.  The Lightning was going to put their best game-plan on the line as they would be fighting for their playoff lives.  But little did we know, fate would have it, as the blue collar steel city would be done in tonight by the Bolts lunch pail guys.  Three stars: 1) Steve Downie, 2) Nate Thompson, 3) Dominic Moore…Nuff said!

Although the Lightning appeared a little tentative coming out of the defensive zone at the start, one could feel the nervous energy being palpable inside the venue formally known as the ICE PALACE.

At 2:39 Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson settled in with an easy catcher save, the first shot the game.  The Bolts would not tally their first shot on goal until the nine minute mark.

At 8:23 of the first, Pittsburgh would mark the scoreboard first when Pascal Dupuis took a pass from Maxime Talbot. It was a play that was basically a pee wee mistake by goal-tender Dwayne Roloson misplaying the puck  simply handed it to Maxime Talbot behind the Bolts goal.  Talbot fed Dupuis in front and that all-important first goal belonged to Pittsburgh.

As RSEN Co-host Travis Failey would say, a “THOR LINE.”  Teddy Purcell from Ryan Malone and Steve Downie at 16:36 lifted the ceiling on the venue formally known as the ICE PALACE, Bolts tie the game at 1-1.

Hard work in front by Sean Bergenheim (10) and Nate Thompson (44). (photo by Kim Klement/US Presswire)

Couple that play with another “THOR LINE”, Sean Bergenheim, arguably the best player on both teams that last two games, along with Dominic Moore and Nate Thompson they proved to be  the difference in the hockey game.  It was their effort and energy that kept pressure on the Penguins and never allowed them to take a shift off.  Afterwards Thompson talked about the game, “It’s the way you have to play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (blue collar hockey) it’s not something that you have to talk about before the game you just know what you have to do.”

Thompson echoed the sentiment of the entire team when talking about this game, “This game was nice, we got the victory, but it’s already time to turn the page to game seven, this one doesn’t matter anymore.”

The teams would head to the 1st intermission tied at 1-1.

It’s amazing on how this team has learned from its game two victory.  When the Lightning have been too emotionally charged after the game and were not able to control their emotions coming back to Tampa.  Well they proved tonight that they are learning how to win in the playoffs as they have were able to control their emotions for the win.

At 5:44 of the 2nd, a “THOR LINE” strikes again.  A no look pass by Dominic Moore [hi-light reel stuff] to Sean Bergenheim would not be wasted as Bergenheim put the biscuit past Pittsburgh net-minder Marc-Andre Fleury. The Bolts first lead of the contest, 2-1. Steve Downie would pick up the secondary assist.

With The Lightning up 2-1 at 9:10 of the 2nd, Pavel Kubina hauls down Pens winger Chris Conner on his way to the Lightning goal. A penalty shot awarded. On the attempt Conner lost control of the puck and aimlessly spun around with a desperte shot which Roloson stopped without breaking a sweat.

At 17:19 a horrible a call on Ryan Malone, what arguably could be one of the worst calls you will ever see. Malone, with his arm was at his side never extended his elbow while landing a check on Pascal Dupuis, who was in the Lightning zone alone, trying to kill a penalty surrounded by four Bolts.  [see replay]

Rule 45 – Elbowing 45.1 Elbowing – Elbowing shall mean the use of an extended elbow in a manner that may or may not cause injury.

At the end of 40 minutes the hometown Bolts would be on the top of the scoreboard 2-1.

The game winner [see photo] was hammered home by Steve Downie working hard with Vinny Lecavlier and Simon Gagne at the 4:55 mark of the 3rd period.

Just for insurance that play-maker Matthias Ohlund; feathered a beautiful pass to Ryan Malone who was able to break in alone; snap a quick shot past Marc-Andre Fleury.   The sarcastic “Fleur-ry” chat rang out of sections 311 and 312 down to the right of us.  These two sections seem to bring the hardcore spirit every game.

When Boucher was asked about what to expect with game seven, “I am going to differ from you (the media), we have already played two game sevens the last two games, so to me it’s just a continuation of what he have learned up to this point.”

Steve Downie, the number one star said after the game of the Lightning’s performance, “A lot of determination especially after they got that first one, a quick one there. But we stuck to our system, stayed composed and played our game… We stuck to our game-plan, we played disciplined, our penalty kill was great.”

Downie finished the night with a +3 and 3 points [2 assists and a goal].

Game 7 Wednesday Night in Pittsburgh at 8PM.

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