(Sports Network) - After splitting the first six games of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, the Lightning and Penguins will meet for a decisive Game 7 tonight at Pittsburgh's CONSOL Energy Center.
You can watch the game live on TSN and TSN Mobile TV at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt.
The fifth-seeded Lightning appear to have the momentum heading into tonight's finale, as they've rebounded from a 3-1 deficit in the series to force this evening's all-important battle.
Tampa is also 2-1 in Pittsburgh during this series and the Lightning have outscored the Pens by a 13-3 margin at CONSOL Energy Center since losing Game 1 in the Steel City, 3-0.
The Penguins have an 8-1 all-time series record when leading three-games-to- one. The only loss was in the 1975 quarterfinals, when Pittsburgh blew a 3-0 series lead to the New York Islanders.
Tampa Bay has never come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a series.
After destroying the Penguins by an 8-2 score in Game 5 at CONSOL Energy Center, the Lightning returned home and notched a 4-2 victory in Monday's test at St. Pete Times Forum. Steve Downie scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period.
"I think our whole team stuck to our game plan and remained disciplined. Our penalty kill was great and everyone did an all-around job tonight," Downie said.
Dwayne Roloson made 27 saves for the Lightning, improving his lifetime record in elimination games to 5-0. The 41-year-old has a 2.05 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in this series.
Pascal Dupuis and Jordan Staal lit the lamp for the fourth-seeded Penguins on Monday, while Marc-Andre Fleury made 17 saves in the losing effort. The setback dropped Pittsburgh to 5-2 in its last seven chances to close out a series on the road.
Pittsburgh has yet to clinch a playoff series at home under head coach Dan Bylsma, winning each of its last five series-clinchers on the road.
"It comes down to one now. We'll lay it on the line and do what we can to come out with a win," Penguins forward James Neal said.
Fleury needs to rebound from consecutive poor starts, as he's allowed eight goals on just 35 shots in Games 5 and 6 combined. Fleury is 2-1 with a 2.89 GAA in three career Game 7s.
Roloson notched a win in his only Game 7, helping the Minnesota Wild beat Vancouver in the 2003 Western Conference semifinals.
The Penguins are 7-5 all-time in Game 7s and lost in this situation to Montreal in last spring's conference semis.
Tampa Bay has recorded wins in both of its all-time Game 7s, but those tests came during the club's 2004 Stanley Cup championship season. The Bolts beat Philadelphia in a Game 7 to win the Eastern Conference title in '04 and then defeated Calgary in a decisive game to win the franchise's one and only Cup.
Of course, Pittsburgh is still playing without captain Sidney Crosby due to a concussion. Crosby continues to practice with the team, but he has not been cleared for contact and will miss tonight's game.
The Penguins had a 25-14-2 record in their first year at CONSOL Energy Center, while Tampa Bay was 21-14-6 as the visiting team this season.
Pittsburgh and the Bolts split four meetings during the regular season and this playoff series marks the first-ever postseason matchup between these clubs.