TAMPA — Penguins RW Chris Conner played less than 10 minutes Monday night, but he could have been the star had things gone his way on two big plays.
Conner missed on two great scoring opportunities in the Lightning's 4-2 win in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. He shot wide from the slot on a three-on-one in the second period, and he flubbed a penalty shot seven minutes later.
Conner, a third-line forward, is not known as a scorer, but he had the right idea on his odd-man rush chance, which came with the score tied 1-1. Conner sent a wrist shot toward the left post, appearing to try to catch goalie Dwayne Roloson shifting in the other direction, but the puck slid wide.
Lightning D Victor Hedman, the lone defenseman back, said he got a stick on the shot. "That was a big play," Hedman said. "I just tried to block the shot quick. Roli would have saved it, but it was good to see it go by. It was very close."
Then, with the Penguins down 2-1, Conner was awarded a penalty shot after getting tripped on a breakaway by D Pavel Kubina.
But as Conner skated in on Roloson, he tried to move the puck to his forehand and lost control of it. Because he couldn't start over, Conner retrieved the puck in the left circle and slapped a desperation shot, which was saved by Roloson. Conner was unavailable for comment after the game.
"I've seen stranger things happen than that thing, and it still ends up in the net," Roloson said. "So you've got to stay focused on your job."
SAME PAGE: Coach Guy Boucher called C Sean Bergenheim a warrior and said he has come up in big games all season.
Monday, for the second time this series, Bergenheim scored a key goal, one that put the Lightning ahead 2-1 in the second period. He also had the tying goal late in Game 4 to get the Lightning into overtime, where it lost 3-2.
On the play Monday, Bergenheim scored after taking an impressive no-look pass from C Dominic Moore, who had curled almost around to the other side of the net. Both said chemistry had a lot to do with executing the play.
"I think we've played enough together all season long that we kind of read off each other," Moore said.
EYES CLOSED: RW Ryan Malone sealed the win with a breakaway goal, ripping a slap shot from between the circles past G Marc-Andre Fleury's glove.
"It's one of my go-to's: close my eyes and see where it goes," Malone said.
Malone knows Fleury well; they were teammates in Pittsburgh.
"He's quick and very flexible," Malone said. "I didn't know what I was going to do. I think I tried that before in practice, and he probably saved me a couple times, so he wasn't expecting it."
Malone also said he's not worried about a league review of an elbowing call on him when he hit Penguins F Pascal Dupuis late in the second.
"I don't think that was an elbow," Malone said. "My elbow was at my hip.
"I was pretty shocked (that they called it). … I've done that hit seven days a week and twice on Sunday."
MISCELLANY: RW Teddy Purcell scored his first career playoff goal. He has four points in his past two games. … D Randy Jones, D Matt Smaby, RW Mattias Ritola, C Dana Tyrell, C Blair Jones and G Dustin Tokarski were scratched.