TAMPA — Any goalie who hopes to be successful in the postseason needs to have selective amnesia. Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson needs to have that now more than ever after giving up a goal he would love to have back — the goal that turned out to be the winner in Pittsburgh's 3-2 double-overtime victory in Game 4 Wednesday night.
A little more than three minutes into the second overtime, Pittsburgh's James Neal wristed an unscreened shot from a bad angle that sneaked past Roloson's glove and into the net, giving the Penguins a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
"It just knuckled and goes off my glove, crossbar and in," Roloson said. "It's just one of those things that happens, a traditional playoff (overtime) goal. It's ugly. That's what happens when you put pucks on net."
Moments earlier, Neal tried a similar shot that missed the net. The second time, Roloson admitted, caught him "a little" by surprise.
"I saw it last second," said Roloson, who said he would not make excuses for the goal he believes he should have had.
"I'm sure he wasn't happy with the last goal, like any goalie," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. "A shot from no angle with no screen. I'm sure he's not happy about it. But he will rebound from it."
Roloson's night didn't start off much better than it ended. Just 8 minutes, 14 seconds into the game, Pittsburgh's Tyler Kennedy took a shot from the left faceoff circle. While Roloson was initially screened, it appeared he had an open look at Kennedy's wrister. Still, the puck managed to squeeze past Roloson's blocker and into the net.
Immediately, Roloson dropped to the ice and angrily shrugged, indicating that he felt he should have made the save.
He allowed a rebound goal to Pittsburgh's Arron Asham early in the second, but after that, Roloson was perfect, making huge save after huge save and biding time until the Lightning could rally.
But as good as Roloson was as the Lightning mounted its comeback and sent the game to overtime, he was even better in the extra time. Early in the first overtime, Roloson stoned Craig Adams on a shot from just outside the crease. Then he made a left-pad save on Asham on a Penguins 2-on-1.
"Roli played just a great game," Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier said.
In the end, Roloson made 50 saves. However, his outstanding goaltending only extended the game long enough for Neal to score the goal that ended the Lightning's night and soured Roloson's as well. But only temporarily.
"You got to have amnesia," Roloson said. "I've been saying that all along. You just have to forget it and move on."