Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern Conference Final – Game 3

Wednesday night was 2016 NHL Eastern Conference Final game three between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

Ryan Callahan is back from a game missed to flu – Tampa will play a normal 6-D (Slater Koekkoek is benched) formation for the first game in seemingly forever. Ben Bishop is still out with a lower body injury.

The Kunitz – Crosby – Hornqvist line is back together after some success in game two. Olli Maatta remains a healthy scratch.

First Period:

The Lightning opens up strong, winning faceoffs, getting attacking zone time and generating shots on goal.

Midway through the period, after relative dominance from Tampa, Phil Kessel, Nick Bonino, Carl Hagelin line asserts some great pressure on the Bolts, but Andrei Vasilevskiy makes some great stops.

The Penguins flip this script in the 2nd half, dominating the faceoffs, winning zone time, generating the lion’s share of shots on goal. Actually, it turns into a shooting gallery…

Late in the period, Patric Hornqvist would go to the box for one of the weakest slashing calls I’ve seen in a while. However, Tampa Bay could not get shots on goal during the power play so it makes little impact. The Bolts should have been called on a few occasions for holds or crosschecks – Tampa Bay was definitely getting a little lucky on that front.

Pens 0 Bolts 0
SOG – 10 – 12
Hits 7 – 11
Faceoffs 50%/50%
Blocked shots 1 – 6
Takeaways 4 – 3
Giveaways 2 – 4

Second Period:

Pittsburgh comes out strong in the 2nd with 5 early shots on goal, and then when Vaslevskiy loses his stick and has to use Ryan Callahan’s, they draw a holding penalty. They would get 3 more shots on Vasilevskiy on the power play.

Later, the Brian BoyleCedric Paquette-Ryan Callahan line got some good looks, ringing a couple of posts and forcing an icing. Tampa gets some good pressure for a little while and the period appears as if it will even out, but it will not last too long.

I missed this one when my dog demanded to be let out for a bathroom break, but found it interesting:

Pittsburgh dominates the later part of the period, keeping Tampa penned in their own zone, and forcing them to take their time-out. Fortunately for the Lightning, Vasilevskiy has been a wall. Has been a wall…

With 10 seconds left in the period, Vasilevskiy gives up a rebound on a Phil Kessel shot, and Carl Hagelin puts it away. The score is 1-0 Penguins

Mike Milbury would highlight Braydon Coburn‘s poor positioning on this goal in the postgame show.

Penguins 1 Lightning 0

SOG: 21-6
Hits: 5 – 6
Blocked shots: 5 – 10
Takeaways: 0 – 3
Giveaways: 4 – 5

Third Period:

A Nick Bonino dish from behind the net to Phil Kessel would result in the Penguins’ second goal of the night, and Kessel’s 2nd point of the night.

It would appear that Tampa Bay is done – but not so fast! Before one can even finish celebrating, the “Triplets Line” gets one back, with Tyler Johnson flying down the slot to pop a goal in.

Pittsburgh 2, Tampa Bay 1

Things get a little chippy now:

There was no penalty called there.
Matt Murray would then get bumped by Tyler Johnson after making a stop, resulting in a mess of messing about.

This would result in a 4-on-4 with Kris Letang and Ondrej Palat getting roughing penalties.

A Braydon Coburn Elbowing foul on Carl Hagelin less than a minute later results in a Pittsburgh 4-on-3.
Sidney Crosby would quickly score a power play goal. 3-1, Pittsburgh.

Vasilevskiy is under siege after this. He would give up this Chris Kunitz shot. 4-1, Pittsburgh.

For future reference, Braydon Coburn is an idiot:

As time grows short, Ondrej Palat sores top-shelf with a bullet!

It’s still 4-2 with 1:44 left. Tampa goes empty net.

They get a few good chances, but Matt Murray makes the stops.
Alex Killorn and Brian Daley get sent to the showers after a pointless roughing exercise so the two teams close out the game on a 4-on-4. Penguins win 4-2

SOG 48-28 (17-10 in the 3rd)
Hits 16-30 (4-13 in the 3rd)
Blocks 13-12
Giveaways: 8 – 11

Penguins lead the series 2-1

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Position: Power Forward. Occupation: I am the Egg Man. Contrary to popular belief, I am not the Walrus.

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