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Pens, Crosby Even Eastern Series

Posted by Webster Washington on 5/17/2016 6:05:21 AM

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been plugging away for two games, and their relentlessness finally came to fruition Monday night in a 3-2 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference playoff series. The win tied the series 1-1 heading into Tampa for Game 3 Wednesday night.

Crosby Wins It

The Penguins, who believed they played well enough to win Game 1, jumped on the Lightning early Monday night with two straight goals. After relinquishing the lead late in the first period, the Pens took charge of a 2-2 game in the second period. But it wasn't until Sidney Crosby got a look from the middle and broke his scoring drought by firing one over goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy's shoulder to settle it early in OT.

The Penguins grabbed the early advantage in the game, when Matt Cullen scored off a rebound and Phil Kessel tallied on a follow to make it 2-0 midway through the first period. Then the Lightning scored just off of a couple of penalty kills late in the period to tie it. Anton Stralman, just back from injury, scored on good pass from Jonathan Marchessault with 3:23 left to make it 2-1. Then with 49 seconds remaining, Jonathan Drouin scored from the right circle to tie.

Vasilevskiy fought off Pens pressure for much of the rest of the way before Crosby's game winner. Vasilevskiy had 38 saves in the game. It was Crosby's first goal in eight games.

Anyone’s Series

Now that Crosby has broken the ice, you have to think the Penguins will win a game in Tampa and come back home in good shape. But anyone could take Game 3. A figure of over +130 is worth a chance. Stralman had a successful return for the Lightning, and look for captain Steven Stamkos to return any day. Goalkeeper Ben Bishop may be back from his injury in Game 1, too. Right now, the Pens are playing better hockey. But with the determination the Bolts have shown thus far in the playoffs, the series is by no means a lock.

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