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game recap

Penguins blitz Lightning early in 8-1 rout

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

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Penguins blitz Lightning early in 8-1 rout
Tampa Bay Lightning 1, Pittsburgh Penguins 8

Twenty-four hours after the Washington Capitals couldn't find a way to score against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Pittsburgh Penguins needed only 7 seconds.

And it only got worse from there for the Bolts.

Chris Kunitz scored three times, Evgeni Malkin got Pittsburgh going with a goal off the opening faceoff and the Penguins, playing for the first time since the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic four days earlier, beat Tampa Bay 8-1 on Wednesday night at the Consol Energy Center.

Alex Goligoski added a goal and set up three others and Kris Letang had three assists to help the Penguins end a two-game losing streak.

Pittsburgh scored four times on its first eight shots while opening a 5-0 lead in the first against the Lightning. Tampa Bay was 9-1-1 in its previous 11 after beating Washington 1-0 in overtime Tuesday night.

"It was nice to get out fast," Kunitz said. "Geno's goal in 7 seconds got us going, and things went right."

Despite all the goals, it was a quiet night for NHL scoring leaders Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos. Crosby had an assist for the only point between them.

Crosby, shut out in his previous two games following a 25-game scoreless streak, has 66 points in 41 games and Pittsburgh is 26-12-3 midway through its season.

"It's nice that other guys are getting confidence," Kunitz said, "We don't have to rely on Sid every night."

Stamkos, who has 56 points, was awarded a penalty shot early in the second period, but lost an edge while tumbling in the left circle and didn't get off a shot. That play perfectly illustrated a game that got away from the Lightning almost as quickly as it started.

"The last thing on your mind is to check your skates, so I guess I'll learn from that if that happens again," Stamkos said. "I had to get both of them done; there was no edge."

There wasn't for the Lightning from the start.

Malkin, who scored Pittsburgh's only goal in its 3-1 outdoor game loss to Washington on Saturday night, intercepted a pass by Sean Bergenheim following Vincent Lecavalier's win on the opening faceoff. Malkin then beat goalie Dwayne Roloson -- who made just his second start with his new club -- with a bad-angled shot from along the goal line.

"It's just one of those games where you could tell it was going to be a weird game from the first draw," Stamkos said. "We won the draw clean and they got a breakaway out of it."

The Penguins' record for fastest goal to start a game is 6 seconds by Jean Pronovost in 1976.

Roloson, who shut out Washington in his first game for Tampa Bay after being picked up from the Islanders last weekend, gave up five goals on 23 shots while being pulled twice. Dan Ellis gave up the other three goals.

All-Star goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had an easy night given all the offensive support, but lost his shutout when Adam Hall scored early in the third to make it 7-1. Fleury made 31 saves.

"(There was) no rain, so it was back to routine," Fleury said, recalling the rainy Winter Classic. "It was good to be back in our building."

Chris Conner deflected Ben Lovejoy's shot from the right point less than 2 1/2 minutes after Malkin scored. Roloson was pulled for the first time after Tyler Kennedy and Kunitz scored 25 seconds apart later in the period. Crosby assisted on Kunitz's first goal, a wrist shot just below the crossbar.

Kunitz, who had one previous NHL hat trick, made it 5-0 with a power-play goal with 1:04 remaining in the first. He added another power-play goal with 11 seconds remaining in the second period. On both goals, Kunitz redirected a shot by Goligoski.

Pittsburgh hadn't scored five goals in the first period since beating Washington 7-3 on Dec. 26, 1990.

Tampa Bay also gave up five goals in the first period Nov. 18 against Philadelphia, but came back to win 8-7.

"It was an emotional game and we gave everything," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said of the win at Washington on Tuesday. "The first goal right away set the tone for the rest of the game. We had no juice, nothing, and they had everything."

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report

scoring summary
1st Period
Evgeni Malkin (15) ASST: NONE
1 - 0 PIT
Chris Conner (5) ASST: Ben Lovejoy (4), Matt Cooke (11)
2 - 0 PIT
Tyler Kennedy (6) ASST: Kris Letang (28)
3 - 0 PIT
Chris Kunitz (11) ASST: Sidney Crosby (34), Pascal Dupuis (10)
4 - 0 PIT
PPG - Chris Kunitz (12) ASST: Alex Goligoski (13), Kris Letang (29)
5 - 0 PIT
2nd Period
Mark Letestu (9) ASST: Tyler Kennedy (12), Alex Goligoski (14)
6 - 0 PIT
PPG - Chris Kunitz (13) ASST: Alex Goligoski (15), Kris Letang (30)
7 - 0 PIT
3rd Period
Adam Hall (5) ASST: Nate Thompson (9), Dana Tyrell (6)
7 - 1 PIT
Alex Goligoski (7) ASST: Chris Conner (4), Ben Lovejoy (5)
8 - 1 PIT
penalty summary
1st Period
Pavel Kubina  Holding against  Evgeni Malkin
Steve Downie  Slashing against  Matt Cooke
2nd Period
Steve Downie  Diving against  Mike Rupp
Mike Rupp  Hooking against  Steve Downie
Victor Hedman  Boarding against  Sidney Crosby
3rd Period
Ben Lovejoy  Hooking against  Adam Hall
Brooks Orpik  Roughing against  Ryan Malone
Zbynek Michalek  Cross checking against  Ryan Malone
Ryan Malone  Cross checking against  Zbynek Michalek
Ryan Malone  Cross checking against  Zbynek Michalek
Sean Bergenheim  Boarding against  Craig Adams
Sidney Crosby  Slashing against  Sean Bergenheim
goalie stats
Dan Ellis
SA: 18TOI: 32:43
Saves: 15EV: 14 - 16
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 2
SV%: .833SH: 0 - 0
Dwayne Roloson
SA: 23TOI: 27:17
Saves: 18EV: 14 - 18
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .783SH: 0 - 0
Marc-Andre Fleury
SA: 32TOI: 60:00
Saves: 31EV: 28 - 29
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .969SH: 1 - 1