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Tampa Bay Lightning beats Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1, ties playoff series at 1

PITTSBURGH — You could tell Marty St. Louis was tired of talking about his teeth, but the questions kept coming.

After taking a stick to the mouth in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal against the Penguins — which caused him to have a double root canal and three damaged teeth cemented into his mouth — was he out for revenge in Game 2 on Friday?

When someone mentioned he might be perceived as inspiring for overcoming the injury, St. Louis had enough.

"It's just teeth," he said. "It's not a shoulder. It's not a knee. It's not an ankle. It's teeth. It's no big deal."

What was a big deal was St. Louis' goal in Tampa Bay's 5-1 victory in Game 2 at the Consol Energy Center that tied the best-of-seven series at one game apiece.

It wasn't the winner. It made the score 4-1. And it wasn't particularly skillful. St. Louis simply zipped a sharp-angle shot at goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

But scored with 14 seconds left in the second period, it was the most important. It stopped cold a surging opponent that outshot Tampa Bay 14-8 in the period, cut into a 3-0 first-period deficit and continually pinned the Lightning in its end.

"That goal was big at the end of the period," coach Guy Boucher said. "It gives you some momentum and confidence."

"You're pressing for a good 10, 12 minutes, and we definitely could have had at least one more goal," said Penguins right wing Craig Adams, who scored his team's only goal. "For them to get that late goal, that was tough."

The Lightning tied a franchise record for goals in a playoff game. It also tied a team record with three goals in a period; Eric Brewer, Vinny Lecavalier and Nate Thompson scored in the first.

Brewer, who scored on the Lightning's first shot, added two assists for a three-point game. Simon Gagne had three assists. Tampa Bay had two power-play goals and a 7 for 7 penalty kill, and Dwayne Roloson made 35 saves as Pittsburgh had a 36-21 shot advantage.

There also was this: Mattias Ohlund scored a shorthanded empty-net goal with 2:05 left in the third period, his first goal since an April 19, 2009, playoff tally for the Canucks.

"I could care less, to be honest," Ohlund said. "It's a big win for us."

The tide turned 9:08 into the second period, when a turnover by Roloson led to Adams' goal.

Roloson said there was miscommunication between him and Brewer, who went wide instead of taking the puck from the goalie, who then backed away, allowing Pittsburgh's Arron Asham to capture it, starting a sequence that led to Adams' goal.

"We were talking, and things got changed up at the last second, and he went by," Roloson said. "I probably should have played it at that point."

The Lightning was on its heels.

"They stormed us," St. Louis said. But when Dominic Moore drew a cross-checking penalty on Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, Tampa Bay had a chance.

"We use that cross-crease play many times," St. Louis said of his goal. "I was just trying to catch (Fleury) off-guard a little bit."

It worked. The puck squeaked by Fleury.

"That was a good stretch," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said of the second period, "and it goes away with one play."

One with some teeth in it.

Tampa Bay Lightning beats Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1, ties playoff series at 1 04/15/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 16, 2011 1:48am]

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