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game recap

Crosby passes Lemieux, breaks Penguins record in loss to Lightning

Has played most games in Pittsburgh history; skid reaches four

by Corey Long / Correspondent

Miller extends lead on quick shot

PIT@TBL: Miller fires a snap shot past DeSmith

J.T. Miller receives a pass from Alex Killorn and snaps a shot from the circle that beats Casey DeSmith, extending the Lightning's lead to 5-3

  • 00:55 •

TAMPA -- Sidney Crosby passed Mario Lemieux for the most games played in Pittsburgh Penguins history in a 5-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

Crosby had an assist in his 916th NHL game, all with Pittsburgh, and Garrett Wilson, Jared McCann, Bryan Rust and Tanner Pearson scored for the Penguins (28-20-7), who have lost four straight (0-3-1). Casey DeSmith made 29 saves.


[WATCH: All Penguins vs. Lightning highlights]


"I'm happy to be in Pittsburgh and time really goes by pretty fast," said Crosby, who is in his 14th NHL season and broke the record held by the Penguins co-owner. "But I've had a lot of great memories here in those games and I'd like to play a lot more. So that's how I look at it." 

Tyler Johnson and J.T. Miller scored in the third period to give Tampa Bay a 5-3 lead, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 28 saves for the Lightning (40-11-4), who had lost two in a row.

Video: PIT@TBL: Vasilevskiy robs Rust with his glove

"I thought our offense did a better job of getting pucks to the net," Johnson said. "We were allowed to get some rebounds and create things that way. So that played a big part for us."

Wilson scored his first NHL goal at 13:36 of the first period when he finished a 2-on-1 by chipping in a pass from Teddy Blueger.

Yanni Gourde tied it 1-1 at 15:02 after finishing a 2-on-0 break off a pass from Brayden Point. Victor Hedman had the second assist on the goal for his 400th NHL point.

Erik Cernak gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead at 15:59 with a one-timer from the point that deflected off the leg of Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist.

Video: PIT@TBL: Johnson beats DeSmith with wrist shot

"I liked a lot of what we did in the first period," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "I think we attempted almost 30 shots. That gave us a bunch of jump."

Anthony Cirelli made it 3-1 with a shorthanded goal at 7:42 of the second period after Ryan McDonagh cleared the puck to Alex Killorn to start a 2-on-1.

"Definitely feels good to get one after a little slump there," said Cirelli, who had gone 21 games without a goal. "Great plays by [Killorn] and [McDonagh] on the goal. I was lucky to just get it in."

McCann made it 3-2 at 8:31 off a wraparound pass from Rust.

Rust tied it 3-3 at 15:04.

"There's a small margin of error out there and unfortunately we were on the wrong side of it," Rust said. "In the third it was back and forth for a while but they capitalized and we didn't."

Video: PIT@TBL: Rust pots goal off Guentzel's dish

Johnson gave the Lightning a 4-3 lead at 4:54 of the third, and Miller made it 5-3 at 14:03.

"It's nice to score every once in a while," Miller said. "Obviously we need guys to step up and one of our biggest threats as a team is our depth and tonight was a great example."

Pearson made it 5-4 at 15:22. Crosby got the assist after stealing the puck from Tampa Bay defenseman Dan Girardi along the end boards.

"I thought we fought hard all night," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. "We battled. We pushed. I still think, to a certain extent, with the types of mistakes we made we beat ourselves."

Video: PIT@TBL: Cernak blasts one-timer through traffic


They said it

"I thought we played hard, I don't think we beat ourselves necessarily. We know the situation and a few of the games that we've been in we haven't found a way to win them." -- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby on the Penguins, who are one point of ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference


"We feel like regardless of who you are in our lineup at any point, we're able to score goals and that's what really drives everything that we do. It dried up a little bit but there's still a lot left in the tank for us." -- Lightning forward Tyler Johnson 


Need to know

The Lightning are tied for the third-fastest team to reach 40 wins; the 1970-71 and 1973-74 Boston Bruins, and the 1975-76 Montreal Canadiens also did it in 55 games. The 2015-16 Washington Capitals did it in 53 games, and the 1995-96 and 2007-08 Detroit Red Wings did it in 54. There were ties in the NHL through the 2003-04 season. … Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov was minus-4 and has no goals in his past 10 games. … Tampa Bay defenseman Braydon Coburn played his 900th NHL game and had an assist on Cernak's goal. … Hornqvist and Lightning forward Adam Erne each received a 10-minute misconduct penalty at 14:39 of the third. … Johnson had gone 14 games without a goal. … Pittsburgh won 41 of 81 face-offs.


What's next

Penguins: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS, NBCSP, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

Lightning: At the Florida Panthers on Sunday (6 p.m. ET; FS-F, SUN, NHL.TV)

Video: Balanced offense helps Lightning stave off Penguins

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