NHL Playoff Game Night: 4/18/11 Penguins at Lightning

It always seems to happen: a soft goal ends up being the margin of loss.

PIT-3
TB-2

Pittsburgh Leads the Series 2-1

Dwayne Roloson allowed 3 goals on 30 shots for the loss. The first goal he allowed was Charminy soft to Talbot and the third goal was off a rebound where we was caught in a funny position trying to squeeze his pads behind him on a puck that wasn't between his legs. As good as he was in Game One and Two in Pittsburgh, he wasn't tonight. He struggled with his rebound control and looked to be fighting it all night long, and you can't allow soft goals in the playoffs. It can't happen.

First Period
05:46 PIT Talbot (1), Lovejoy (1)
06:31 PIT Asham (2), Rupp (1), Letang (2)
15:19 TB St Louis (2), Gagne (4), Stamkos (1)(PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
02:12 TB St Louis (3), Lecavalier (1), Brewer (3)(PP)
02:43 PIT Kennedy (1), Letang (3), Orpik (3)

Martin St. Louis was the game's second star.

Good:
Martin St. Louis is so money on the power play. The guy had an instinct for the rebounds Fleury was leaving tonight. Honorable mention to the heroic effort by an obviously winged Ryan Malone. He almost scored a goal in the second period and drew a penalty in the third that could've tied it at third if the Lightning power play could've clicked. I don't see how the guy can continue in the series playing one armed, but there was no quit in him tonight.

Bad:
Gap control at the Lightning's blueline was awful tonight and there was nothing resembling a forecheck for long stretches of the second and third periods. It's like they forgot everything that led them to blow the Pens out in Game Two the moment Roli allowed that softie.

Ugly:
Seriously, that first goal was horrible. You can't do that to your team if you're a veteran netminder. It kills your momentum and gets you out of your game in a moment's notice. And, sure enough, that was the margin. Terrible. Can't happen.

Steven Stamkos is showing signs of getting his picture off the milk carton, but I'm still waiting for Vincent Lecavalier to put together the big forechecking shifts to get some goals I expected based on his play down the stretch of the regular season. With a desperation moment coming up in Game Four, one of those two need to step up and contribute, especially if Malone is out.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.