In last night’s decisive game seven, the Tampa Bay Lightning were able to blank the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-0 to dishearten the hometown fans and win the first-round series in the NHL playoffs.
Winger Sean Bergenheim scored the only goal of the night, a nifty second period shot past Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury from a tough angle after receiving a pass from Dominic Moore behind the net. Meanwhile, goalie Dwayne Roloson turned back 36 shots to earn the shutout.
Despite a 13 shot advantage and five power plays during the game, the Penguins were unable to get the puck to the back of the net. Indeed, for the entire series, the Penguins managed only one power play goal in 35 opportunities.
After falling behind three games to one, most experts were waiting for the Lightning to capitulate. However, they were able to claw their way back into the series, winning three straight game to overcome the early deficit.
The Penguins, despite their early performance, were clearly missing the presence of both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Crosby has not played since suffering a concussion in January while Malkin’s knee injury in February sidelined him for the season.
With the victory secured, the Lightning will head north to the nation’s capital to take on the top-seeded Washington Capitals. The Caps won their first-round series against the New York Rangers in five games and are awaiting the arrival of the Lightning for the first game in the second-round series tomorrow night at the Verizon Center.