After sleepwalking through most of the first period, the Tampa Bay Lightning struck for two goals in 45 seconds in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Simon Gagne and Steven Stamkos both scored on rebounds, and despite being outshot 13-8 and probably outplayed, Tampa Bay leads 2-0 after one period.
The Lightning’s first good scoring chance ended up in the back of the net. After a turnover at center, Vincent Lecavalier, Teddy Purcell, and Gagne made a series of touch passes as they moved towards Marc-Andre Fleury in a triangle. Purcell’s one-time shot hit two posts, although replays indicate it may have gone in so he may eventually get credit for the goal. Either way, Gagne was all alone in the crease to tap home the rebound to put the Lightning ahead 1-0.
Not long after, Stamkos got off the goal-scoring schneid. Steve Downie kept a loose puck in the offensive zone and took a shot from the point. Fleury made the save, but Stamkos found the rebound and lifted a shot over Fleury for a 2-0 lead.
There has been a 2-0 lead in all five games of the series, and the team taking the 2-0 lead has won the first four. The Lightning will need to finish killing a Penguins power play to begin the second period as they try to send this series back to Tampa for Game 6.