The Pittsburgh Penguins lead the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 after one period in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal. Two goals 45 seconds apart by the Penguins’ Maxime Talbot and Arron Asham stunned the Lightning, but they recovered with a power-play goal by Martin St. Louis late in the period.
At the 5:46 mark of the first period, Talbot scored to give Pittsburgh the lead. The play started when Lightning forward Steve Downie hammered Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy behind the net, drawing a delayed penalty. But it was never called, because Lovejoy managed to get the puck to Talbot first, and Talbot brought it all the way up the ice and beat Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson with a stoppable wrist shot to the glove side.
Less than a minute later, two mistakes by Tampa Bay’s defensive pair led to a 2-0 deficit. Victor Hedman tried to take Penguins forward Mike Rupp out of the play at the blue line, but missed his check. Rupp got around Hedman and broke in with Asham for a 2-on-1. The other Lightning defenseman on the play, Pavel Kubina, tried to take away the pass, but he didn’t get down to the ice fast enough. The puck slid under him to a wide-open Asham, who easily put the one-timer past Roloson.
The Lightning cut the lead to 2-1 at 15:19. On a scramble in front of the Penguins net during a power play, Martin St. Louis got to a loose puck and lifted a backhander over Marc-Andre Fleury’s pads. Steven Stamkos got an assist on the play, his first-ever point in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Tampa Bay will need to kill a penalty to begin the second period after Vincent Lecavalier took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty with only 12 seconds left in the first.