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Tampa Bay Lightning beats Pittsburgh Penguins 8-2 to extend playoff series

PITTSBURGH — Sometimes, a visual aid is the best way to make a point.

Such was the case with the Lightning on Friday, when players, hanging around their common room at the team hotel, watched the Flyers-Sabres game and saw several goals scored on shots that had no business going in.

Coach Guy Boucher had his hook for the team meeting later in the evening.

"You don't know which shot is a great shot," Boucher said he told the players. "They're all dangerous."

Tampa Bay proved the point in Saturday's 8-2 win over the Penguins in Game 5 of the Eastern quarterfinals at the Consol Energy Center, fighting off elimination, though it still trails three games to two in the best-of-seven series.

Four goals came off rebounds, three others off plays in tight.

"We're a team that drives to the net, so we didn't change anything," Boucher said. "But we made sure the shots were there.

"With shots on net come rebounds. With rebounds, if you've got guys around the net, it can pay off."

The payoff was a franchise record for goals in a playoff game, chasing goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury 5:31 into the second period after he allowed four goals on 14 shots and a chance to tie the series in Game 6 on Monday at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Steven Stamkos, previously invisible in the series, scored his first two career playoff goals and had three points. Simon Gagne had two goals as did Pavel Kubina. Vinny Lecavalier and Dominic Moore scored, and Teddy Purcell had three assists.

Four goals were on the power play. And the Lightning killed seven penalties and is 24-of-25 in the series.

None of it would have been possible without a strong first period from Dwayne Roloson, who made 13 saves while the Lightning was badly outplayed until Gagne and Stamkos scored in 46 seconds for a 2-0 lead with 2:17 left.

"He was making huge saves," Lecavalier said. "It gives us a lot of confidence. He's a game-changer."

But Roloson, with 31 saves overall and whose .942 save percentage is second in the playoffs, said, "It had nothing to do with me. We stayed with our structure. We did the things we needed to do to win a hockey game."

Like shooting the puck.

The Lightning had been outshot 159-111 entering the game.

"Always waiting for the better play," Boucher said.

It was outshot 33-25 on Saturday and had its second-fewest shots of the series. But at least Tampa Bay did not pass up as many shots. And in the third period, in which it was outshot 13-7, the Lightning was simply trying to maintain and not get hurt as the Penguins got physical with two boarding penalties and one each for roughing and slashing.

"It's exactly what we've been talking about," Stamkos said. "You shoot pucks on net, and you never know what can happen. It's not always the pretty plays."

Stamkos' first goal was gritty as he outmaneuvered Penguins defensemen Zbynek Michalek and Paul Martin to get to a rebound of Steve Downie's shot.

Lecavalier was in front to convert Stamkos' perfect pass from the corner after Stamkos checked Martin off the puck. And Moore's goal came off a Sean Bergenheim cross-slot pass after he picked up a rebound of Nate Thompson's shot.

"They always kept a lot of guys around the net to screen," Fleury said. "It just seems like everything got back to them and ended up in the net."

"The difference is we shot (the puck)," Boucher said.

A difference the players could see.

Tampa Bay Lightning beats Pittsburgh Penguins 8-2 to extend playoff series 04/23/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 23, 2011 10:56pm]

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