— Penguins captain Pascal Dupuuis didn’t want to discuss what could happen after his team’s 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.
But he acknowledged it was a good night for the 25-year-old, who was averaging 6:18 of ice time and was averaging 19:05 of faceoffs per game.
“He was getting good faceoffs,” Dupuus said.
“He was making plays in the defensive zone and he was getting the puck out of the zone, and that’s a good thing.
He was a big part of that tonight.”
The Penguins have a chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 2013-14 and are playing with more confidence after the team suffered a 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins in the first round.
“I think our guys were just more motivated tonight, and we were getting better,” defenseman Josh Gorges said.
“Pascal Dupuys played well tonight, he was aggressive, he scored a couple of goals, so it was nice to see him get some goals.”
The Lightning had a 3:39 lead after one period when the puck dropped and Dupuies goal on the power play tied the game at 2-2.
But a Lightning power play goal by defenseman Andrej Sustr, and the ensuing power play from Sustar, gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead at the 12:09 mark of the second period.
The Lightning made it 2-0 when defenseman Andrei Vasilevskiy scored on a power play at the 6:42 mark of regulation.
Dupuish and Stamkos scored the first two goals of the period as Pittsburgh built a 6-0 lead before the Lightning scored the final two goals to tie it at 2.
Dupuis’ goal tied the score and gave Pittsburgh a 2.0-0 advantage heading into the third period.
“It was nice seeing him get the puck,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.
he got it a lot more times than we thought.
We saw the puck coming, we saw it coming in the corner, he got there, and he scored.
I thought he made a lot of plays.”
Tampa Bay defenseman Kristers Gudlevskis stopped 29 shots for his fifth shutout of the season.
Pittsburgh goaltender Jhonas Enroth stopped 23 shots for a 3.00 save percentage.
The Penguins will face the New York Rangers in Game 4 on Friday night at 8 p.m. EDT.