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2011 NHL Playoffs: St. Louis Pulls Lightning Within 2-1, But Time Running Out

The Tampa Bay Lightning are a little over half a period away from falling behind the Pittsburgh Penguins three games to one in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal. But they only trail 2-1 in Game 4 thanks to more heroics from Martin St. Louis.

The Penguins increased their lead to 2-0 at the 2:39 mark of the second period on a wrist shot from Arron Asham, who along with his linemates have been a thorn in the Lightning’s side all series long. Pittsburgh then looked for the knockout blow and took control of the game on both ends of the ice. At one point in the second period, the Lightning were being outshot 28-11 as they continued having trouble generating scoring chances.

Then suddenly things broke. Vincent Lecavalier banked a pass to St. Louis along the far-side boards. St. Louis cut around Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy and beat Marc-Andre Fleury with a low wrist shot to cut Pittsburgh’s lead in half with 2:46 left in the second. It was St. Louis' fourth goal in the playoffs, as many as the rest of the Lightning combined. Not long after, Lecavalier sent Steven Stamkos in on a breakaway with a chance to tie the game. But Paul Martin made a fantastic defensive play, keeping his stick on the ice and breaking up Stamkos’s scoring chance as he tried to deke Fleury out of position.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.