After getting dropped by the Panthers in a 3-6 decision on Friday night, the Penguins set off to Tampa Bay determined to turn that around and not be the tired team going into the Saturday night game. They did just that with a 5-4 win thanks to Sidney Crosby and game hero Matt Niskanen.
The game opened with a fight between former teammates Craig Adams and Ryan Malone, resulting in a fighting major for both. A mere twenty seconds later Chuck Kobasew was called for a hook against Steven Stamkos, giving the Lightning a man-advantage. The Lightning had three power play opportunities during the first period, and used that to their advantage as Valterri Filppula opened the scoring at 13:25, it was his fourth goal in the season, and third in two games.
The second period, which saw Ryan Malone getting a 10-minute major for misconduct, and Eric Brewer getting a roughing against Kobasew, was the turning point in the game when Sidney Crosby was able to tie it up at 1-1. At 5:11, Steven Stamkos put the Lightning ahead 2-1, netting his fourth goal in two games. Less than two minutes later, at 7:01, Brooks Orpik deflected a shot from Pascal Dupuis, and the puck found the back of the net, 2-2 once again. Teddy Purcell got a piece of the deflecting action, being in the right place at the right time, and was able to tip in a shot from Sami Salo, putting the Lightning up 3-2 going into the third.
The game was tied four different times, each team not allowing the goals to be more than one apart.
A mere :25 seconds into the third period Sidney Crosby tied it up, netting his hat trick ten minutes later on a power-play goal as Alex Killorn sat in the box after a holding call against Malkin. Alex Killorn came back, making a power play goal of his own on a Kunitz penalty, to tie up the score once again. With 18.6 seconds left in the game, fans were hoping to see the heated game go into over time, when Matt Niskanen fired one final shot past Anders Lindback, and the puck found the back of the net. It sent Penguins fans in the arena to their feet, cheering loudly as the defensemen scored the team’s third power play goal of the night.
Of the nine goals in the game, five were power play goals. Three scored by the Penguins, and two scored by the Lightning.
The Penguins are now 4-1-0 on the season, and with the Lightning’s three-game winning streak over, they now sit at 3-2-0. Crosby has nine points in five games, gaining at least one per game.
The Penguins return to Consol Energy Center on Tuesday to play the Edmonton Oilers at 1900 hrs.
Tampa continues their home stand on Tuesday when they play the Los Angeles Kings at 1930 hrs.
|G: 3||Shots: 4|
|A: 1||Hits: 0|
|PTS: 4||PIM: 0|
|+/-: 1||TOI: 22:09|
|G: 0||Shots: 3|
|A: 2||Hits: 0|
|PTS: 2||PIM: 2|
|+/-: 1||TOI: 17:43|
|G: 1||Shots: 3|
|A: 0||Hits: 7|
|PTS: 1||PIM: 0|
|+/-: 0||TOI: 25:50|