PITTSBURGH — Lightning coach Guy Boucher said he "felt bad" for G Dwayne Roloson, who made 50 saves in Wednesday's Game 4 against the Penguins but allowed a soft goal as the winner in the 3-2 double-overtime loss.
"If you look at the rest of the game, he played great."
Asked Friday if he had confidence in Roloson, Boucher said, "Since he's been with us, he certainly has given us confidence that any game he can pull a few rabbits out of his hat. Obviously, (today for Game 5 and the Lightning facing elimination) we're hoping the rabbit is pretty big."
Roloson, 41, has had an unpredictable playoff. Brilliant at times, he leads the league with a .943 save percentage. But he has allowed several soft goals. It's no surprise, then, that Roloson said in the playoffs, "Stats go out the window. It's all about wins and losses."
Roloson isn't new to elimination games. He was on the 2002-03 Wild team that twice won series after being down 3-1.
For Boucher, it has nothing to do with previous games. "Playoffs are never about momentum. They're about that particular day. They're about urgency and desperation."
It is the same for Roloson.
"(Today) is a new day for him," Boucher said.
NO HARM: D Eric Brewer didn't skate. Boucher said it was a day of rest for a player averaging a team-high 26:58 of ice time. As for the kick in the shin he took in Game 4 from Tyler Kennedy, Brewer said he didn't realize it happened. There was no penalty, and Kennedy was not disciplined by the league.
RETURN ENGAGEMENT: Lightning RW Steve Downie and Pens LW Chris Kunitz return after serving one-game suspensions for Game 3 hits. "It was real tough," Downie said of sitting out Game 4. "It would have been easier if we had won. "You've got to deal with it and move forward."
'A' FOR ASHAM: The Penguins have gotten unlikely firepower from fourth-liner Arron Asham. The right wing, with five goals in 44 regular-season games, has three in four games in the series.
"That's the important thing about having success in the playoffs is putting your team and people in position to have the chance to put the cape on," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.
Said Boucher, "It's usually the guys who battle so hard, they outbattle the opponent. And Asham has been doing that. If you watch the clips, it ain't no luck. He deserves what he's getting."
CORE FOUR: Asham's line, with C Michael Rupp and Craig Adams, has four of Pittsburgh's 10 goals and is a combined plus-12. "They play eight, nine minutes a game," Lightning W Marty St. Louis said. "But they're dominant minutes. They play hard. They're physical, and they bring the puck to the net. We've got to find a way to slow them down and get in their face a little more so they can't pressure and forecheck our D like they have."
Lineup swap? If Boucher goes with seven defensemen instead of six today, expect Marc-Andre Bergeron to see his first action and W Dana Tyrell to sit.
AHL Playoffs: Norfolk lost its third straight to Pens affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 2-0 and trails the first-round series 3-2.