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game recap

Mark Streit scores winner in Penguins debut

Defenseman breaks third-period tie against Lightning

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Mark Streit scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period of his Pittsburgh Penguins debut, helping them defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 at PPG Paints Arena on Friday. 

Streit gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead at 2:38 after Tampa Bay forward Nikita Kucherov tied it 2-2 on a power play at 1:10 with his seventh goal in five games. 

"I think the thing is, obviously, we got the win," Streit said. "I felt comfortable [with Pittsburgh] right away. It made it a whole lot easier to play tonight."

Streit was traded to the Penguins by the Lightning on Wednesday, after Tampa Bay acquired the defenseman in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers. 

 

WATCH: All Lightning vs. Penguins highlights

 

Justin Schultz gave Pittsburgh a 4-2 lead on a power play with 3:23 remaining, and Tom Kuhnhackl made it 5-2 on an empty-net goal with 1:00 left. 

The Penguins (39-16-8) avoided a third straight loss and tied the Columbus Blue Jackets for second place in the Metropolitan Division. They are seven points behind the Washington Capitals for first place. 

Adam Erne gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead with his first NHL goal at 6:18 of the second period. Evgeni Malkin tied it 1-1 on a power play 2:21 later. Six seconds after Victor Hedman was called for tripping, Phil Kessel sent a cross-ice pass to Malkin, who dropped to one knee and one-timed a snap shot past Peter Budaj's glove at 8:39. 

Kessel set up Malkin again to extend the lead to 2-1 with 3:11 remaining in the second. Malkin, who played his 700th NHL game, is second on the Penguins with 28 goals, six behind Sidney Crosby. 

"When you score, you always like it," Malkin said. "It was a good night for me. It was a good night for the team. … I've scored like 28 goals, but probably on like 20 [Kessel] has passed to me. He's a great player and I'm glad he plays with us."

Video: TBL@PIT: Malkin tallies twice in 700th career game

Malkin has 11 goals in his past 15 games; he missed seven games during that stretch with a lower-body injury.

The Lightning (29-26-8) are five points behind the New York Islanders for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Budaj, who stopped 60 of 62 shots winning two starts for the Los Angeles Kings against the Penguins this season, made 30 saves in his Lightning debut. He was acquired in a trade with Los Angeles on Feb. 26. 

"I felt good. I made some good saves," Budaj said. "We gave up a power play and they have a really strong power play. They scored three power-play goals and made plays. … Communication with the [defense], it's a new team so it was a little bit lacking. But overall I felt pretty good out there."

Matt Murray made 27 saves for the Penguins and is 7-2-2 in his past 11 games.

 

Goal of the game

Malkin was tripped while carrying the puck before it slipped to Crosby, who passed to Streit during the delayed penalty. After stickhandling toward Budaj, Streit shot through his five-hole.

Video: TBL@PIT: Streit buries Crosby's feed in Pens debut

 

Saves of the game

With Budaj out of position, Kessel passed to Schultz, who dropped to one knee and shot toward a seemingly open left side of the net but sent it slightly too far to the right. Budaj twisted back and made a save before falling in his crease. The rebound slipped to Nick Bonino, but he shot into Budaj before the puck was frozen with 7:28 remaining in the second period.

Video: TBL@PIT: Budaj comes up with a pair of great stops

 

Highlight of the game 

Jonathan Drouin drove through the neutral zone to the near wall before turning and backhanding a pass to Kucherov, who one-timed a shot past Murray's glove.

Video: TBL@PIT: Kucherov powers home heavy slapper for PPG

 

Unsung performance of the game

Crosby helped keep the Lightning from taking the lead when Brayden Point went on a breakaway at 4:46 of the second period. Crosby chased down Point and stripped him of the puck before he could shoot.

 

They said it

"Just give the guys credit. They were locked in. …. They're all such great players. When they take what the game gives them and they don't force it, they see the plays that are there, and I thought that's what went on tonight. I thought we were just locked in." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan 

 

"I can't fault him for the goals. It's the five guys in front of him that are giving up the chances. He stopped everything he's supposed to and probably some more." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper on Peter Budaj

 

Need to know

Erne played his seventh NHL game. … Penguins forward Conor Sheary played 13:38 returning from an upper-body injury that sidelined him for 13 games. … Lightning forward Steven Stamkos participated in a second consecutive morning skate but did not play. He has been out since Nov. 15 with a right knee injury.

 

What's next

Lightning: At the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, SUN, NHL.TV)

Penguins: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; NHLN, ROOT, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Malkin, Streit power Penguins past Bolts in 5-2 win

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