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Penguins vs. Lightning Game 2 Recap: Sidney Crosby OT goal wins game for Pens

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Sidney Crosby scores in overtime as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in overtime of Game 2 in the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals. See the highlights and read the recap here.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Game 2 Tampa Bay Lightning @ Pittsburgh Penguins

The Lineups

As expected, Justin Schultz is in for Olli Maatta after Maatta's playoff struggles continue. This pushes Ben Lovejoy up a pair to play with Brian Dumoulin. Also Patric Hornqvist took a puck to the head in warmups

For the Lightning, Anton Stralman returned to make his playoff debut from a March 25th broken leg, and ironically Ryan Callahan was out of the lineup - not because of a suspension - but with the "flu".

The Highlights

First Period

The Pens come out strong, controlling play and looking dangerous. They pay it off with the game-opening goal with Matt Cullen collecting a rolling puck off a rebound and smacking it high and past Andrei Vasilevskiy to make it 1-0.

The Shawn Michaels approved HBK line does it again to make it 2-0. After an extended shift in the offensive zone (and nice puck control by Carl Hagelin) Phil Kessel rifles one home for his 6th goal of the playoffs.

Troubles would start before the period ended, Jonathan Marchessault finds time/space and makes a nice pass over to Penguin-killer Anton Stralman who sneaks in the back-door and tosses a rolling puck of his own over Matt Murray to make it 2-1.

Then, Tampa would tie the game before intermission. Shortly after a Penguins power play ended, Chris Kunitz tried to one-time a puck and heeled it (then fell for good measure). Tampa quickly transitions the other way and Jonathan Drouin quickly releases a heck of a shot by Murray. But one from distance.

Second Period

Finally after more uninspired play by Kunitz and Sheary, the Pens put Malkin with Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist (and Kris Letang too for good measure). They generate this wonderful chance that required an amazing save by Vasilevskiy.

Not too much else going on this period, Tampa goes 8+ minutes without a shot at one point, seemingly content to sit back and see if they could trap the Pens into a mistake and take advantage on transition.

But with time running out in the period, Alex Kiillorn blocks a weak Brian Dumoulin effort and breaks free all alone. Luckily Letang is charging hard back and Killorn opts to shoot quickly instead of trying a deke. Murray makes the important save to keep it at 2-2.

Third Period

Pens again come out the better team to start the period, getting 6 of the first 7 scoring chances and shots were 14-4 in the first 15 minutes. Plenty of pressure and motivation but by Vasilevskiy was up to the task.

Overtime

Well, this one doesn't take long. Nice play by Dumoulin in the neutral zone to get the puck up to Bryan Rust . Rust holds for a second and finds Sidney Crosby. Crosby releases a quick, hard shot up high and it beats Tampa and ties the series.

Some Thoughts

  • Pittsburgh earned 2 power plays in the first period, neither looked particularly good and to make matters worse, each Tampa goal happened within a minute of the end of the Pittsburgh power play.
  • Eric Fehr looked so much more comfortable since demoted to the 4th line. He was making more plays with the puck in the first period alone than was memorable in the last handful on the Evgeni Malkin line.
  • Weird how the Tampa perspective is "great shot, Drouin!" and the Pittsburgh voices moan "aww crappy goal Murray" at the same time on social media. Probably one Murray would want back, but it all looks easy in slow motion on replays.
  • Sadly the 71-87-72 experiment wasn't permanent though was occasionally used. It did seem to spur some other rotating line changes, and for necessary reasons.
  • Conor Sheary given a seat during the 3rd period so a lot of new lines mixed and matched.
  • Great night for Ben Lovejoy.  In the first he blocked a shot with a wide-open net behind him. Looked good for the most part tonight.
  • Nice to see Murray settle down and stop the final 13 shots he saw and keep the puck out of the net over the final 42 minutes of the game. Murray's rebound control and puck-tracking looked a little sloppy and maybe as rattled as we've ever visually seen him play, however in a results oriented business, he came through with his end of the bargain tonight over the last half of the game.
  • The Pens really dominated the game from about mid-way through the 2nd period on. Really deserved to win this one, though obviously this time of year when it comes to the NHL playoffs, deserve's got nothin to do with it.
  • Crosby's first career playoff OT goal, and also his first goal in 8 games. Great time for it.

Series is tied 1-1 and now shifts down to Tampa.