Carl Hagelin: 1 Goal, 1 Assist, +2, 6 Shots, 19:00 TOI
Matt Murray: 26 Saves, 10th win of the Postseason
Sidney Crosby: Game Winning Goal, +1, 56% Faceoff Wins, 6 Shots
Plenty of chances, plenty of speed, no goals. The Bolts and the Pens had a plethora of chances, but both 21 year old netminders in Andrei Vasilevskiy and Matt Murray, stood strong and kept the game scoreless. The game was even, with chances both ways, and shots 12-10 favouring the home-town Lightning. A lone penalty by Penguins’ forward Patric Hornqvist put Tampa on the PP, one which they were unable to capitalize on.
This period was all Pittsburgh, including the last five minutes where play was exclusively in the Lightning zone. Throwing 21 shots at Vasilevskiy, only beating him on the 21st of the period. The goal came from Carl Hagelin, who made no mistake burying the puck on a juicy rebound in front of a helpless Vasilevskiy. Phil Kessel rushed the puck and put it on net from the hashmarks to create the goal scoring opportunity. The Penguins were unlucky to not pile on a couple more due to their sustained offensive pressure, especially late in the period.
However, their “couple more” came in the third. Phil the Thrill, who has been absolutely lights out since the second round contributed his seventh goal of the postseason campaign, beating Vasilevskiy on a wrister. Tyler Johnson took off following the goal, scoring a mere 13 seconds after the Pens went up 2-0. That was all that Tampa was good for, Murray was absolutely unsolvable after that. Braydon Coburn gave Hagelin a hard elbow and the Pens PP went to work, setting up Sidney Crosby with his fifth goal on a one time pass from Evgeni Malkin. Soon after, Chris Kunitz buried the insurance marker to extend the lead to 4-1. Palat attempted to mount a comeback with a late goal coming with under two minutes to play. Unfortunately it was not enough, and Murray claimed his 10th win of the postseason.
After the first period, Pittsburgh took over in all three zones. Putting the Bolts on their heels in the late stages of the second and carrying that momentum into the third, the Pens now take a 2-1 series lead. The Pens were 1/3 on the man advantage, while Tampa was 0/1. Total shots were 48 for Pittsburgh and 28 for Tampa. Pittsburgh speed is lethal and will surely be utilized throughout the remainder of the playoffs. Game 4 is set for Friday at 8 in Amalie Arena. As always, Americans viewers tune into NBCSN and Canadian viewers can catch the game on CBC.
Will the Lightning be able to recover from Game three? Do you think the Penguins deserved this victory? Comment below!!
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