The Tampa Bay Lightning made history last year when they became the first area franchise to be the finalists in two separate seasons of their respective sport. Last night, they looked to break their own record against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Tampa’s Amalie Arena. Leading three games to two in the race to four wins in a best of seven series, they needed just one win in the next two games to make it back to the Stanley Cup, where Pittsburgh needed a win in Game 6, then again in Game 7.
An apparent goal scored by Tampa Bay early was later nullified when a video replay challenge Pittsburgh lodged showed that the officials should have declared Tampa Bay offside before the goal was scored. Instead of a 1-0 Bolts lead, the score remained 0-0.
After that, it was all Pittsburgh. A 3-0 lead was cut to 3-2 in the third period, giving the Lightning fans in Tampa some considerable hope. But, the Penguins answered with a goal with about two minutes left followed by an empty net goal moments later, and the lead was quickly back out to three at 5-2. It stayed there as the final horn sounded.
The series is now even at 3-3, making Thursday’s game the decider. The Lightning, as they did last year, need a win in Game 7 on the road.