Final SO

Series (Game 3 of 4)

Tampa Bay leads 4-0

Game 1: Saturday, October 15th
Game 2: Sunday, November 27th
Game 3: Tuesday, March 7th
Game 4: Saturday, April 8th

Lightning 5

(33-25-4, 70 pts)

Penguins 4

(14-36-12, 40 pts)

7:30 PM ET, March 7, 2006

Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1 2 3 SO T
TB 1 2 1 15
PIT 0 1 3 04

D. Boyle (Lightning - D): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

R. Whitney (Penguins - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

S. Crosby (Penguins - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Tampa Bay (32-25-4) at Pittsburgh (14-36-11) 7:30 pm EST

Tampa Bay (32-25-4) at Pittsburgh (14-36-11) 7:30 pm EST

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) - The Tampa Bay Lightning open a five-game road trip Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, hoping to erase the sting of a miserable homestand.

The defending Stanley Cup champions had won five of six games before the Olympic break, only to return to action in poor fashion by dropping three straight games at home by a combined score of 18-4.

The stunning slide started with an 8-2 setback to lowly Florida, followed by a 6-2 loss to Montreal and a 4-0 blanking at the hands of Ottawa on Monday. The difficult slump has left Tampa Bay in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, just a point ahead of the Canadiens.

The Lightning held a shots advantage in the first two periods against the Senators but were unable to get anything past Ottawa goaltender Ray Emery, who dealt Tampa Bay its first scoreless effort since October 7.

The Penguins will be trying to avoid the same fate as the Lightning after dropping the first two games of their homestand, including Saturday's 7-5 loss to Carolina.

The Hurricanes scored five times in the first period before Mark Recchi finally got Pittsburgh on the board early in the second. Recchi added two more tallies in the third to pull the Penguins within two goals, but never closer.

Fredrik Modin scored twice to help Tampa Bay secure a 4-1 victory in the last meeting between the teams November 27.