Both the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins are telling everyone that the key to getting ready for Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal will be to forget about Game 5, an 8-2 Lightning rout that kept their season alive.
For Tampa Bay goaltender Dwayne Roloson, who made 31 saves in Saturday's win, he believes in a 12-hour rule, win or lose -- enough time to reflect on the previous game, but not so long that he ends up dwelling on it. As the article from Monday's St. Petersburg Times points out, Roloson has a stellar .942 save percentage and a 2.06 goals against average in this series, both among the top marks for goaltenders so far in the playoffs. Even though Roloson has had a couple of soft goals scored on him (including the game-winner from James Neal in Game 4), he's been able to bounce back.
In Pittsburgh, the Penguins were a bit more direct in their goal of moving past Saturday's loss:
"Seriously, we have nothing to get out of that game," defenseman Ben Lovejoy said. "Hopefully, we're not even thinking about it. Not before the next game. Not ever again."
Normally the Lightning would be looking forward to another home game in the series. But home ice has actually been a disadvantage so far in the playoffs. The home team is only 1-4 in this series and 18-24 overall in the first round. It's a stat Lightning coach Guy Boucher is all too familiar with.
"I mean, it's great to play in front of your fans, but the reality is, in that situation you sometimes become too emotional to focus on your task, and that's a danger and that's (a trap) we don't want to fall into (tonight)."
Boucher scheduled Sunday's practice for late afternoon so that some of the players could check into a downtown hotel and treat Game 6 a bit like a road game. Monday night's faceoff is a little bit after 7:00pm as Tampa Bay tries to fight off elimination again and send the series back to Pittsburgh for a decisive Game 7.