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Lightning stun Penguins in overtime, take 3-2 series lead | TribLIVE.com
Penguins/NHL

Lightning stun Penguins in overtime, take 3-2 series lead

Jonathan Bombulie

Marc-Andre Fleury's night began with a heartwarming ovation from an appreciative Consol Energy Center crowd.

It ended with the most heart-wrenching finish a goalie can experience.

A Jason Garrison shot from the left wing deflected in off the back of Tyler Johnson 53 seconds into overtime, and the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Penguins, 4-3, on Sunday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

The Lightning lead the series 3-2 and can close it out Tuesday night in Tampa, Fla.

“It's been a while since I played. I was really looking forward to it,” Fleury said. “I'm just pretty disappointed that it ended the way it did.”

The Penguins lost back-to-back games for the first time since the middle of January.

Coach Mike Sullivan has praised his team's resiliency regularly starting shortly after he took over as coach in December. That quality will face the ultimate test.

“I know our guys will respond the right way. They have for four months, five months now,” Sullivan said. “Anytime your back's against the wall, you have to heighten the urgency even that much more, heighten the intensity that much more.

“I told them after the game it's disappointing. We're all disappointed we didn't get the result tonight. But we can't change it. What we've got to do is we've got to gather ourselves, we've got to get back at it and try to win a game.”

Fleury was making his first start since March 31 after suffering his second concussion of the season. He made a couple of aggressive saves in the first five minutes of the first period to keep the game scoreless. He extended his right pad to its fullest to stop a Johnson shot after a backdoor pass from Victor Hedman in the second period.

Ultimately, though, on a night he made 21 saves, Fleury's performance will be remembered for the pucks that got past him.

“I'm not going to assess his game right after the game,” Sullivan said. “It's obviously a disheartening game that we just lost. I'd rather digest it a little bit before I jump to any conclusions.”

Throughout the regular season and first 15 games of the playoffs, the Penguins were 46-0 when carrying a lead into the third period.

They picked an inopportune time to erase that zero, surrendering leads of 2-0 and 3-2.

With 0.7 seconds left in the first period, Bryan Rust blew past Hedman to get a shot on net and Brian Dumoulin cleaned up the rebound to break a 103-game goal drought.

Early in the second period, Carl Hagelin redirected a puck to Patric Hornqvist at the right post to make it 2-0.

The Lightning pushed back with goals by Alex Killorn on a pinpoint shot from the left half-wall and Nikita Kucherov off a cross-ice pass from Vladislav Namestnikov 70 seconds apart later in the second.

The Penguins took a lead into the third thanks to a Chris Kunitz goal with 49.6 seconds left in the second period. After Olli Maatta led a rush to the Tampa Bay zone, Evgeni Malkin sent a turnaround shot on goal from the slot and Kunitz jammed in the rebound to make it 3-2.

After Ryan Callahan hit a post with 3:55 to go, Tampa Bay tied it with 3:16 left in regulation. Fleury directed the rebound of a Kucherov shot behind the net, but Johnson was there to pick up the puck and score on a wrap-around.

“We had some breakdowns,” Dumoulin said. “(Fleury) made some big saves. Definitely not his fault. He made some really huge saves throughout that game to keep us in it. … He's great on the ice. He's so calm in the net. And off the ice, he's a leader. He's been in this locker room for a long time. He's definitely a guy I look up to and want to see do well.”

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter at @BombulieTrib.


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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Lightning players celebrate Tyler Johnson's winning goal in overtime against the Penguins during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Lightning's Tyler Johnson has the puck bounce of his back and past Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for the game winning goal in overtime during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole makes his way to his seat for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Penguins and Lightning on Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stands for the national anthem before Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Lightning on Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury makes a third-period save against the Lightning during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Lightning's Tyler Johnson has the puck bounce off his back and past Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for the winning goal in overtime during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
The Lightning's Nikita Kucherov works on scoring a third-period goal against the Penguins during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
The Lightning's Nikita Kucherov celebrates his third-period goal against the Penguins during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust celebrate with Brian Dumoulin after Dumoulin's goal against the Lightning during the first period of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Brian Dumoulin scores against the Lightning during the first period of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is pressured by the Lightning's Ryan Callahan during the first period of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Evgeni Malkin celebrates with Chris Kunitz after Kunitz's goal in the second period against the Lightning during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Former Steelers player Brett Keisel cheers during the first period of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Penguins and Lightning on Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Chris Kunitz celebrates his second-period goal against the Lightning during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz celebrate a second-period goal against the Lightning during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Patric Hornqvist scores a second-period goal against the Lightning during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury makes a save on the Lightning's Valtteri Filppula during the second period of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Chris Kunitz fights for position with the Lightning's Cedric Paquette during the third period of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Bryan Rust crashes into Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
The Pirates' Starling Marte watches Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Penguins and Lightning on Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Lightning's Jonathan Drouin pulls down the Penguins' Brian Rust during the third period of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Consol Energy Center.
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