Aside from a goal by the Lightning in the first period (which was overturned) and a late Tampa Bay rally, it was all Penguins on Tuesday night, as Pittsburgh came up with a 5–2 win in Game 6. The Eastern Conference finals will be decided in Game 7 on Thursday.
Here’s who stood out to us on Tuesday:
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
And that’s why he gets paid the big bucks. With his team’s season on the line, Crosby assisted on Phil Kessel’s power-play goal to get the Penguins on the board first, then tallied the game-winner—his third of the series—on a jaw-dropping individual effort late in the second.
Matt Murray, Pittsburgh Penguins
Talk about a tough spot. After being benched for Game 5, Murray was thrust back between the pipes for the must-win Game 6. He had a light go of it through the first two periods, facing just 11 shots. But when the Lightning turned it up in the third he stood tall, stopping 17 of 19 to preserve the win for the Penguins. Murray’s right-pad stop on Ondrej Palat in the first minute of the third may have saved the game for Pittsburgh.
Brian Boyle, Tampa Bay Lightning
At least Boyle got the memo. The fourth-line center played just over seven minutes of five-on-five hockey, but fired everything at the net, scoring twice in the process. He got a lucky bounce on the first one when his shot from the corner banked in off the leg of Kessel. Boyle’s second goal, though, was all snipeshow, beating Murray top corner stick-side.