For 5 Minutes and Nine Seconds in the 3rd…

By on May 25, 2016

It was fun for the home crowd…

A win or go play golf tomorrow could have been rally cry for the Pittsburgh Penguins coming into game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final. And apparently no one in the black and gold wanted to opt for the early start to the golfing endeavor.

The Penguins just seem to have a skate up on Tampa resulting in offensive zone pressure. Getting off to a fast start  and grinding in the money zone the Penguins created two scoring chances that Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy was up to the task.

The Lightning struggling to get pucks on goal got a fortuitous rebound off the pad of Matt Murray.  With Ondrej Palat in on the left wing whipping one in on Murray who kicked the rebound out to his left.  Jonathan drives it to the back of the twine.  Horn, tesla coils, fans scream… Lightning score! Not. It’s those dreaded blueline cameras.  Drouin was offsides by a skate lift… and the goal came off the board.  And the score remains tied with zeros.

You know this brought a memory to my mind from playoff time 2015.  The Lightning scored  a goal in the second round game 1 against the Montreal Canadiens to win in the second OT.  The replay showed the Lightning clearly to be offsides.  Goal stood, no blueline cameras in 2015.  Do you believe in KARMA?  The Lightning do not score on that play, the rule does not get changed.  Life and sports are funny sometimes.

With Pittsburgh skating circles around the Bolts in the first, they get a reprieve.  Evgeni Malkin picks up a two-minute whacking penalty (that’s a hard slash).   Yes a reprieve from getting shelled but the man advantage for the Lightning was lifeless at best.  Score still 0-0.

Well the last thing the Lightning need is the Penguins to  go on power play. At 17:09 Anton Stralman goes off for interference, followed by Victor Hedman for delay. The Pens who obviously took the Evgeni Malkin’s game 6 guarantee,  that may have media steroid induced, to heart by playing with heart, banged one past Vasilevskiy during the 5 on 3. Phil Kessel his 9th of the playoffs from Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.  1-0 Penguins but it seemed like a two goal lead after having a Lightning goal disallowed. Sports momentum is like sports and life, funny sometimes.

Much of the same in the second period and at the end of the period the shots were 26-11 Pittsburgh.

Kris Letang doubled the Pittsburgh lead at 7:40  and the way the game was tilted I  heard the fat lady tuning up her vocal cords.

The back breaking, ball busting late period goal with just 0:24 left by Crosby put the Penguins up with a 3-0 commanding lead. Somewhere at the moment in Yinzerland  beers were getting guzzled and spilled and there was dancing with Burgh Pride.  Yes it’s going to happen, game 7 at Cosol Energy whatever.

The second ends, 3-0 Pittsburgh.

The fired up crowd that worked itself up to see a clinching game 6 was, well was doing a lot of hand sitting.

Then in third, at just 5:30 the Oil Can, our affectionate name for the Oil Company naming rights of Amalie Arena, came alive as Brian Boyle gets one past Matt Murray. 3-1 and it’s the loudest the crowd has been all night.

And then it’s Boyle again! Seven minutes and fourteen seconds later.  3-2!  There is over seven minutes left and we have a one goal contest… I still hear the fat lady warming up.  Just my feeling all night.  Even when the Lightning were buzzing in the offensive zone my feeling all along was… a least there will something good to watch Thursday night.   I mean the Bolts had their gas on the pedal.  Where was this the last, oh fifty-three minutes?

Well the lovable blue clad heros of Tampa Bay were just pressing to get the tying goal when a Bryan Rust break away goal gutted the home crowd as they watched Andrei Vasilevskiy drop his athletic supporter to the ice as Rust finished sliding the puck in the open basket.

Nick Bonino adds the bus starting, fat lady singing empty netter.

I guess it’s NBC Sports Network and the entertaining sounds of Doc Emrick for the Tampa Bay area Thursday night.



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