Penguins cruise in Tampa Bay for series lead

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The Pittsburgh Penguins took the lead in the NHL Eastern Conference final series and the race to the Stanley Cup final with a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in game three on Wednesday.

The Penguins got the job done thanks to a three-goal third period, after taking a 1-0 lead into the final intermission as they earned a 2-1 series lead.

Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel wreaked havoc on the Lightning defence scoring a goal and assisting another each.

Hagelin opened the scoring with 10 seconds to spare in the second period to give the Penguins a crucial 1-0 lead on away ice, with a lovely assist from Kessel.

Hagelin then returned the favour five minutes, 16 seconds into the third when he laid on Kessel's seventh goal of the play-offs.

The Lightning pulled the deficit back to one through Tyler Johnson, but they were helpless to concede when facing a power play as Sidney Crosby got on the scoresheet 10:50 into the final period.

Chris Kunitz completed the scoring for the Penguins with under seven minutes to play as Pittsburgh took the initiative in the series, before Ondrej Palat scored a consolation for the Lightning.