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Penguins beat Lightning to force Game 7

Flip Side: Pens Return Home for Game 7

(The Sports Xchange) - The Penguins stayed alive in the Eastern Conference finals with a 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 at Amalie Arena on Tuesday, setting up a series decider back in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh goaltender Matthew Murray took a shutout into the third period, then held on as Tampa Bay pulled within a goal, with more shots in the third period than in the first two combined.

Pittsburgh's Bryan Rust got a breakaway goal with 2:08 left and Nick Bonino added an empty-netter with 53 seconds left to pull away.

The Penguins will be back on home ice for Game 7 on Thursday -- where Tampa Bay have won two of three games in this series -- with the winner advancing to the Stanley Cup finals.

The Lightning trailed 3-0 in the third period when they got a spark from Brian Boyle, who scored twice to pull Tampa Bay within a goal with 7:17 to play. After 11 shots in the first two periods, Tampa Bay had 18 in the third alone.

Boyle's first goal went in off Pittsburgh's Phil Kessel, who had tried to redirect it but put it in the net off a wide shot with 14:30 left.

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Penguins beat Lightning to force Game 7
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 22: Nikita Kucherov #86 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates after scoring a goal against Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on May 22, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 16: Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning gives up a goal to Phil Kessel #81 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Consol Energy Center on May 16, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 13: Ondrej Palat #18 of the Tampa Bay Lightning scores a goal against Matt Murray #30 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period in Game One of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 13, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - MAY 15: David Backes #42 of the St. Louis Blues (R) celebrates with Jaden Schwartz #17 after scoring a first period goal against Martin Jones #31 of the San Jose Sharks (not pictured) in Game One of the Western Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center on May 15, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 25: Troy Brouwer #36 of the St. Louis Blues celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game Seven of the Western Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Scottrade Center on April 25, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri. The blues beat the Blackhawks 3-2 to win the series. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/ Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - APRIL 27: Ben Bishop #30 of the Tampa Bay Lightning makes a save as Nikolay Kulemin #86 of the New York Islanders crashes into Jason Garrison #5 during the first period in Game One of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on April 27, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 02: Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals reacts after being scored on by Tom Kuhnhackl #34 of the Pittsburgh Penguins (not pictured) in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on May 2, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 20: Roberto Luongo #1 of the Florida Panthers is pushed aside as players from the Panthers and the New York Islanders converge in the crease during the second period in Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Barclays Center on April 20, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
ST. PAUL, MN - APRIL 20: Jason Spezza #90 of the Dallas Stars scores a goal against Jason Pominville #29 and goalie Devan Dubnyk #40 of the Minnesota Wild in Game Four of the Western Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 20, 2016 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 27: Clayton Stoner #3 of the Anaheim Ducks and Viktor Arvidsson #38 of the Nashville Predators leap to avoid a collision during the second period of Game Seven of the Western Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Honda Center on April 27, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - APRIL 19: Niklas Kronwall #55 of the Detroit Red Wings battles for the puck with Jonathan Drouin #27 of the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period of Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Joe Louis Arena on April 19, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. Tampa Bay won the game 3-2. Tampa Bay leads the series 3-1. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 23: Sami Vatanen #45 of the Anaheim Ducks reacts after scoring on a breakaway against goaltender Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators in the third period of Game Five of the Western Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on April 23, 2016 in Anaheim, California. Vatanen's goal was the eventual game-winning goal. The Ducks defeated the Predators 5-2. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 20: Andrew MacDonald #47 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates after scoring against the Washington Capitals during the second period in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on April 20, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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That was Boyle's fourth goal of the postseason, and he scored again, taking a pass from defenseman Slater Koekkoek and firing a shot to the top left corner of the net and past Murray.

Pittsburgh continued to stun the Lightning with late-period goals, scoring twice in the final 90 seconds of periods to take a 3-0 lead into the third period.

Sidney Crosby made it a 3-0 game, scoring with just 25 seconds left in the second as he weaved past two Lightning players and then shot the puck through the legs of goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy for his sixth goal of the postseason.

Two nights earlier, Pittsburgh had a 2-0 lead in the second period, only to see the Lightning rally to tie the game and win in overtime.

The Penguins had extended their lead to 2-0 on Tuesday on a goal by defenseman Kris Letang -- just his second of the playoffs -- off a drop pass from Conor Sheary with 12:20 left, beating Vasilevskiy to the top left corner of the net.

Pittsburgh jumped ahead late in the first period, taking advantage of a 5-on-3 power play that had the Lightning's top two defensemen in the penalty box.

Anton Stralman was called for interference after a hit on Pittsburgh's Tom Kuhnhackl with 2:51 left, and when Victor Hedman looked to clear the puck, it sailed over the glass on the far end of the ice for a delay penalty and 1:19 of 5-on-3 hockey.

The Lightning killed off most of the double advantage but, with 1:14 left, Kessel scored, taking a pass from Crosby out of mid air that caromed past Vasilevskiy for the 1-0 lead.

Tampa Bay looked to have taken the lead with 14:48 left on a goal from Jonathan Drouin, but an official review showed that Drouin was offside -- his back skate had not crossed the blue line but was up off the ice, so the goal was waived off.

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