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NHL Playoffs 2011: Sharks Win Series In Overtime, Lightning Force Another Game 7

The San Jose Sharks are moving on after beating the Los Angeles Kings in an overtime thriller in Game 6, and the Tampa Bay Lightning forced a decisive Game 7 with a win over Pittsburgh.

Tampa Bay 4, Pittsburgh 2: Steve Downie had a goal and two assists, including the game-winning tally 4:55 into the third period to help Tampa Bay force a Game 7 in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Pascal Dupuis and Jordan Staal lit the lamp for the Penguins.

San Jose 4, Los Angeles 3: Joe Thornton scored 2:22 into overtime to lift the Sharks to a 4-3 win and a series victory over the Kings. Trevor Lewis tallied a power play goal midway through the third period to tie the game for the Kings, but Los Angeles failed on a golden opportunity late in the game to force a Game 7. San Jose’s Jamie McGinn was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct with a little under four minutes to play for charging Brad Richardson, but the Kings couldn’t score—which included 1:23 of power play time in overtime.

With San Jose’s win, it guarantees that the Red Wings will be at best the second-highest seed in the conference semifinals. Should the Blackhawks beat the the Canucks in Game 7 on Tuesday, the Red Wings would have home ice advantage against Nashville in the second round. If the Canucks win, they will play Nashville and Detroit will start on the road in San Jose.

Series Standings Through Monday
WEST
Detroit defeated Phoenix 4-0
San Jose defeated Los Angeles 4-2
Nashville defeated Anaheim 4-2
Tuesday’s game: Chicago at Vancouver, 10 p.m. Versus (Series tied 3-3)

EAST
Washington defeated New York 4-1
Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh tied 3-3
Tuesday’s games: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7 p.m. Versus (Series tied 3-3); Boston at Montreal, 7 p.m. CBC (BOS leads 3-2)