Penguins beat Lightning 3-2 in double OT

James Neal scored his first career playoff goal in double overtime to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Tampa Bay Lighting 3-2, giving the Pens a commanding 3-1 series lead.

Neal’s winner came off a quick shot from the corner, beating Tampa goalie Dwayne Roloson high glove. Jordan Staal and Paul Martin assisted on the goal.

Tyler Kennedy and Arron Asham scored the other Penguins goals and Pittsburgh will look to eliminate the Lightning in Game 5 at home on Saturday afternoon.

Roloson was brilliant making several key saves in the first overtime period and he finished the game with 50 saves.

Martin St. Louis and Sean Bergenheim replied for the Lightning. Steven Stamkos has not been a factor for the Bolts, he has one assist and only five shots through the first four games of the series.

Marc-Andre Fleury was solid for the Penguins, making 29 saves. He faced less shots than Roloson but made key stops when his team needed them.

BOXSCORE

Tampa Bay forward Steve Downie and Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz were suspended for Wednesday night’s game. They both received one-game suspensions for separate incidents in Game 3.

Vincent Lecavalier took a holding penalty at 7:19 of the first, allowing the Penguins to convert with the man advantage, making it 1-0. Kennedy beat Roloson on the short side and it was the Pens’ first power-play goal of the series, breaking a 0-for-15 run.

Tampa Bay could not find any offence in the first period, managing only six shots on goal. The Lightning’s best chance of the period was thwarted by Fleury, who stopped Bergenheim on a breakaway, keeping the score 1-0.

Asham scored his third goal of the series, converting a Ben Lovejoy rebound at 2:39 of the second period, pushing the lead to 2-0.

The fourth line of Asham, Craig Adams, and Michael Rupp have been key contributors for the Pens, pitching in with four of the team’s nine goals thus far.

The Lightning continued to struggle with Pittsburgh and appear content to sit back and wait for turnovers. Midway through the game, Tampa had managed only 10 shots compared to the Penguins with 23.

St. Louis made it 2-1 at 17:14 of the second period, converting a beautiful pass from Lecavalier who chipped the puck behind the Penguins defence.

Tampa Bay has relied heavily on Lecavalier and St. Louis. The two stars have accounted for five of the team’s nine goals this series.

Entering the third period with a one-goal lead, the Penguins sat back, allowing Tampa to generate chances.

With his team up a goal, Pittsburgh forward James Neal took two minor penalties, giving the Lightning two golden opportunities to tie the game.

Through the first three games of the series, the Lightning power play was 4-for-12 but they failed to convert this time.

With 3:17 remaining in the third period, Tampa evened the game 2-2. Bergenheim found the puck in front of Fleury and shovelled it into the net. A St. Louis cross-check created space in front of the Penguins goal, sending the game to overtime.

Adams took a tripping penalty with 2:26 remaining in the first extra frame, putting Tampa on the power play. The Lightning were unable to score with the man advantage, sending the game to a second overtime.

Sidney Crosby skated with his teammates on Tuesday but remains out with a concussion.

On Wednesday, Tampa Bay’s Steve Yzerman, was named a finalist for the NHL’s general manger of the year award.