Penguins Deliver Crushing Defeat to Bolts in Double OT

By on April 24, 2011

Tampa, Fl. [RSEN]–You battle all night long, leave your heart and soul on the ice in front of the home fans and with one quick snap shot by James Neal from the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Bolts had their hearts ripped out in the double overtime. Pittsburgh won the game 3-2 and took a commanding lead in the series 3-1 heading back to Consol Energy Arena on Saturday afternoon. 

The Bolts had to again battle back from an early deficit as Pittsburgh killed off an early power play and then Vincent Lecavalier took a holding penalty which the Pens were able to cash in on as Tyler Kennedy roofed a short side shot past Dwayne Roloson to give them the 1-0 lead at 8:14 of the first period. 

Tampa Bay early in the game tried to show that they learned from the mistakes in game three when they allowed their emotions and over aggressive play to take them out of their structure or shape on the ice.  Well tonight it seemed that the team went to the other extreme and it allowed the Penguins to be first on the puck and battled a little harder which allowed them to get the early lead.

Lightning killer Aaron Asham, [three goals in the series] does it again the second period as he puts one past Roloson through the five hole to increase their lead to 2-0.  This was certainly a shot that Roloson would want to have back, but it was a snap shot of the game.  Pittsburgh played with more grit and sand paper tonight. 

Marty St. Louis would not go down without a fight as the heart and soul of this franchise brings the team back to within one late in the second period as he beat Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fluery, for St. Louis it was his fourth goal in the series, to give his team some momentum and the building some life going into the third period.

Once the third period started it was game on, as the Bolts finally found a little fight in their game, coach Guy Boucher continued to roll all four lines as the team battled to find that tying goal which came via the “THOR” line in Sean Bergenheim who was able to put a rebound shot past Fluery to tie the game up with three minutes to go.

In overtime the Bolts had plenty of chances to finish the game, they even got a power play late in the first over time as Simon Gagne was tackled in the offensive zone but they just could not get the late power play goal to tie the series.    

This may be a learning experience for this franchise on what kind of effort it takes to win in the Stanley Cup playoffs.  Pittsburgh won every battle of wills between the two teams here in Tampa as the Penguins are champions for a reason they understand what you have to do to win those battles.  You think you’re playing hard but the other guy is playing harder and battling more so as a team it’s time to see how they respond in a elimination setting.

Young superstar Steven Stamkos maybe feeling the playoff pressure the most right now, as he just seems lost at times on the ice with pucks flying off his sticks or his shots just missing the net.  He means too much to this team for him to be playing this way and the Bolts will not win in the playoffs without Stamkos playing up to his talent.

The Lightning head to Pittsburgh for game five at noon for their first elimination game, the series is by no means over and they are talented enough as a team that if they win game 5 and bring it back to Tampa for game 6 anything can happen.  However the team has to understand the desperation level that is required in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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