Lightning survive late Penguins fightback to tie series

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The Tampa Bay Lightning survived a late fightback from the Pittsburgh Penguins to tie their NHL Eastern Conference final series at 2-2. 

Tampa Bay led 4-0 early in the third period but the Penguins struck three times to ensure a dramatic finish at the Amalie Arena on Friday. 

However, despite a late attack on their goal, the Lightning held on for the slender win to ensure the best-of-seven series will be decided in at least six games. 

Ryan Callahan gave Tampa Bay a dream start in front of the home support, putting the Lightning 1-0 ahead just 27 seconds into the opening period. 

Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov combined to give Andrej Sustr the chance to double their lead before they continued their dominance in the second period. 

Victor Hedman had a hand in Jonathan Drouin's goal to go 3-0 up before Tyler Johnson made it 4-0 to the Lightning, all but wrapping up the result. 

But the Penguins had other ideas, and Phil Kessel's goal 1 minute, 18 seconds into the third period kept them in the game.

Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz then scored within 1:55 of each other to bring the score back to within one, setting up a tense finish in game four. 

However, Tampa Bay managed to withstand plenty of late pressure from Pittsburgh, holding on to tie the series in the race for the Stanley Cup final.

Game five takes place on Sunday at the Consol Energy Center as Pittsburgh look to regain the series lead on home ice.