Crosby, Kessel power Penguins past Lightning
Each scores twice; Jarry makes 33 saves for first NHL winby Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent
PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel each scored twice to help the Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday.
Crosby, who has three goals in his past two games, scored on two different 5-on-3s, one in the first period and another in the third. Kessel scored once in the first period and again in the second.
Kessel had four points (two goals, two assists), and has seven goals in his past nine games.
[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Penguins highlights]
"Obviously, it was a good night," Kessel said. "We had a couple 5-on-3s out there, so it's nice. We needed that win tonight. … We need to find our footing here and get a couple wins going. Tonight was a good start."
Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry made 33 saves for his first NHL win. He is 1-1-2 in his career and 1-0-2 this season.
Pittsburgh (12-10-3), which lost 4-3 to the Boston Bruins on Friday, won the second half of a back-to-back for the first time in seven attempts this season (1-4-2). It had been outscored 36-12 in the second halves of back-to-backs entering Saturday.
Video: TBL@PIT: Kessel pots great pass for power-play goal
The Penguins ended their first three-game losing streak since Jan. 11-14.
"I think our players understand the circumstance," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "We all know where we are in the League and where we are in our division. All of us watch hockey so we know where we stand and I think our group has high expectations."
Tampa Bay (16-5-2) is 1-3-0 in its past four games.
"We've got to build on the foundation we started here since training camp," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "It's been really good. Take away our last, probably four games here where we've dropped three of them, I like a lot of what's going on. We've hit a speed bump here, but we've got some veterans in that locker room.
"It's tough to put a halt to it when the games are piling up here. … All of a sudden you've lost a couple. We get a much-deserved day off tomorrow. Let's regroup."
Video: TBL@PIT: Crosby wires in wrister for power-play goal
Two double minor high-sticking penalties led to three first-period goals for the Penguins. The flurry started when Jake Guentzel was called for high-sticking Ondrej Palat at 11:21 and Bryan Rust scored on a shorthanded breakaway to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead at 14:36.
Cedric Paquette went off for high-sticking Crosby at 16:12 and Anton Stralman was called for tripping 1:31 later. The Penguins scored twice on the 5-on-3.
After Kris Letang's stick broke on an attempted slap shot, Patric Hornqvist moved the puck to Crosby, who passed through the crease. Kessel one-timed a shot past Peter Budaj with nine seconds remaining in the first half of Paquette's double minor to make it 2-0 at 18:03.
Crosby extended it to 3-0 by tipping a shot from Kessel inside the left post with 33.1 seconds left. He has at least one point in five of his past six games.
Video: TBL@PIT: Rust goes top shelf for shorthanded goal
Kessel scored again, this time with a wrist shot over Budaj's blocker during a breakaway, to make it 4-0 at 2:22 of the second period.
Palat cut the lead to 4-1 with a power-play goal at 6:52.
Crosby pushed it to 5-1 on a 5-on-3 4:41 into the third period before Cory Conacher cut it to 5-2 on his first goal of the season with 6:06 remaining.
Goal of the game
Crosby's power-play goal with 33.1 seconds remaining in the first period.
Video: TBL@PIT: Crosby tips home power-play goal in front
Save of the game
Jarry stopped a wrist shot from Nikita Kucherov with 8:01 left in the second period.
Video: TBL@PIT: Jarry robs Kucherov with amazing pad save
Highlight of the game
Kessel's breakaway goal at 2:22 of the second period.
Video: TBL@PIT: Kessel fires puck past Budaj on breakaway
They said it
"It's something you can only dream of. It's something you think of as a kid that you might not achieve. It's something that came true tonight." -- Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry on his first NHL win
"We're going to get the A-game from every team every night, being the top team in the League. It's something we have to be prepared for and the last, maybe three or five games, we haven't really been ready off the start. Get in penalty trouble tonight and we're trying, but it's not going our way right now. We have to figure out a way to stop it at two [straight losses] here." -- Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi
Need to know
Lightning forward Chris Kunitz returned to Pittsburgh for the first time since signing with Tampa Bay as an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He is one of five players to have won the Stanley Cup three times with the Penguins, along with Evgeni Malkin, Crosby, Letang and Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. … Crosby played his 807th game, passing Jaromir Jagr for second in Penguins history. Mario Lemieux is the all-time leader with 915.
Video: TBL@PIT: Penguins pay tribute to Kunitz with video
Lightning: At the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, SUN, NHL.TV)
Penguins: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, TVA Sports, SN, ATTSN-PT, NBCSP, NHL.TV)