The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-3 yesterday at PPG Paints Arena.
Forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and defenseman Brian Dumoulin each had a goal and assist. Goalie Casey DeSmith made 26 saves for the Penguins, who improved to 29-21-9 and have now won two straight after losing their past four.
Forward Nikita Kucherov had a goal and an assist, including his 700th career point, and Goaltender Brian Elliott made 29 saves for the Lightning, who fell to 37-18-4 and were coming off a 3-0 win to the Detroit Red Wings the day before. The Lightning are now 2-2-2 in their past six games. Kucherov also became the fourth player in franchise history to get 700 points with the Lightning, joining Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, and Vincent Lecavalier.
Just over three minutes into the first period, forward Drew O’Connor scored off a redirection to give the Penguins the 1-0 lead. At 16:06, forward Anthony Cirelli tied the game up at 1-1 after defenseman Zach Bogosian fired a shot that went off Cirelli and in. At 18:05, Kucherov chipped home a rebound to give the Lightning the 2-1 lead.
Just over six minutes into the second period, Malkin received a pass as soon as he came out of the penalty box and went in all alone to make it 2-2. At 15:28, Crosby buried home a power play goal to give the Penguins the 3-2 lead. At 16:20, forward Teddy Blueger knocked in a loose puck to give the Penguins the 4-2 lead. It was his first goal in 33 games and only his second of the season. At 17:50, forward Jeff Carter buried home a wrist shot to make it 5-2. Forty-seven seconds later, forward Jason Zucker made it 6-2 with a backhander. With five seconds left in the period, Dumoulin made it 7-2 Penguins with a snipe from the blueline to give him his first goal of the season. The five goals in four minutes in 27 seconds are the second-fastest five goals in Penguins history. The Pens scored five goals in two minutes and seven seconds against the St. Louis Blues on November 22nd, 1972.
Just under eight minutes into the third period, forward Brayden Point scored from the low slot to make it 7-3, which would be the final score.
Crosby would grab his 13th season for the Penguins, having 70+ points, which passed former forward Mario Lemieux for the most all-time in Penguins history. He currently has 71 points in 59 games. For the Lightning, defenseman Erik Cernak would serve the second game of his two-game suspension after he elbowed Buffalo Sabres forward Kyle Okposo on Thursday.