Steven Stamkos, Pavel Kubina, and Simon Gagne each scored two goals as the Tampa Bay Lightning crushed the Pittsburgh Penguins 8-2 in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal. The Lightning cut Pittsburgh’s lead in the best-of-seven series to 3-2 and forced a Game 6 in Tampa on Monday night.
While Tampa Bay’s effort had been lacking at times during the series, it picked up noticeably from late in the first period on through the game. Stamkos, Gagne (twice), and Vincent Lecavalier scored goals in a 10-minute span covering the first and second periods, all on rebounds and second chances that rewarded the team’s hard work and hustle. Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled after allowing four goals on 14 shots, but his backup Brent Johnson didn’t fare much better, giving up four more goals on 11 shots. The Lightning’s lead grew to 7-0 in the third period before the Penguins broke the shutout with goals by Michael Rupp and Chris Conner.
The Lightning set team records for goals (8) and power-play goals (4) in a playoff game. Tampa Bay’s last four goals were all with the man advantage, including Stamkos’s second goal, both of Kubina’s goals, and one from Dominic Moore that closed out the scoring. Stamkos had an assist to go with his two goals, Teddy Purcell added three assists, and 14 different Lightning players had at least one point in the game. At the other end, Dwayne Roloson made 31 saves to get the win in net.
Monday night’s Game 6 will be at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, with a start time and TV details still to be determined.