There were times this season when nothing went right.

Now it's another season, and here is Simon Gagne - like always.

There is big hockey and he is playing big.

It's what the man does.

"In the playoffs," Gagne said, "anything you can do can make the difference."

The Lightning left winger came to Tampa this season but was nearly invisible the first half, fighting injury and then ineffectiveness. He finished with 17 goals, a far cry from his 40-goal seasons in Philadelphia.

But Saturday in Pittsburgh, in Game 5 of the Bolts' series with the Penguins, there was Simon Gagne, scoring his first two goals of these playoffs to help his team fight off elimination with an 8-2 win.

It's what the man does.

It's his time of year.

"I think they brought me here more for this moment," Gagne said.

He has six points heading into Game 6 tonight at the Forum, second to only Marty St. Louis' eight. St. Louis has twice won a Lightning playoff series with an overtime goal. His other OT goal ended must-win Game 6 of the 2004 Stanley Cup finals at Calgary. He knows clutch. And he knows Simon Gagne.

"He's definitely that kind of guy," St. Louis said. "He's just a guy who's there in key situations. In game-breaking minutes, he's there. He always has been."

"We think he's a money player, a guy who shows up in big games," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said.

During the Lightning's '04 Cup run, Gagne, playing for the Flyers, scored in overtime to beat the Bolts in a Game 6 and force a seventh game in the Eastern Conference finals.

Last season, Gagne was all over Philadelphia's astounding comeback from 3-0 down in its second-round series against Boston.

He missed the first three games with an injury - so naturally he scored a Game 4 overtime winner to keep the series going