Roloson puts perfect elimination mark on the line

After beating the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 to extend his team's season, Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson was asked if he knew his record in elimination games.

He quickly said that he didn't want to know.

Well, no one show this to Roloson, but he's now 5-0 in games where the losing team starts its summer vacation.

That includes the last two games of this first-round series, when he's kept the Lightning alive with strong efforts in Games 5 and 6 to force Wednesday's Game 7 (8 p.m. ET, NHL Network-US, VERSUS (joined in progress), TSN).

At age 41, Roloson continues to amaze, stopping 27 of 29 shots in Tampa's 8-2 win in Game 5, and coming back two days later to save 31 of 33 shots in a 4-2 win in Game 6.

His biggest moment of the series may have come in Game 6, after the Pens' Jordan Staal scored to tie the game 2-2 at 3:48 of the third period. Seconds later the Penguins' Maxime Talbot had a breakaway, but Roloson stopped his backhand attempt, and then denied him again on the rebound. Pascal Dupuis then swooped in for another rebound opportunity, but Roloson made another great save.

Thirty seconds after the save on Dupuis, Steve Downie scored the game-winning goal that forced Game 7.

"The three big saves ... it's a momentum turner, completely," said Lightning defenseman Eric Brewer. "He's just fantastic, as he has been all series. He saved us."

Brewer isn't the first person to say that about Roloson. During the Edmonton Oilers' run to the 2006 Stanley Cup Final, he put Detroit, San Jose and Anaheim out in his first chance to eliminate them.

He went 12-5 in the 2006 postseason, with a 2.33 goals-against average and .927 save percentage. But in three elimination games, he was 3-0 with a 1.34 GAA and .957 save percentage.

In the first round, Roloson stopped 33 of 36 shots in Game 6 to lead the eighth-seeded Oilers to an upset of the Red Wings, that season's Presidents' Trophy winner.

In Game 6 of the second round, he stopped all 24 shots he faced to eliminate the Sharks. In Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, he stopped 32 of 33 shots to knock out the Ducks, one game after allowing five goals on 45 shots.

This is the first opportunity Roloson has had to extend his streak in elimination games. He was injured in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, and this is his first playoff series since then. However, he's picked up right where he left off in 2006.

"We see it every day in practice," Lightning teammate Steven Stamkos said of Roloson after Game 6 against the Penguins. "He just never quits. He's defying the odds; doing it at his age is unbelievable. He was our best player."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK