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game recap

Point has natural hat trick in Lightning win against Penguins

Scores three goals in 91 seconds, second fastest in NHL expansion era

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Brayden Point scored three power-play goals in 91 seconds to help the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-3 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday.

Point's natural hat trick was the sixth fastest in NHL history, and the second fastest in the expansion era (since 1967-68) behind Derek King, who did it in 78 seconds for the New York Islanders on Oct. 15, 1991.

"That's pretty cool, but obviously, a couple 5-on-3 situations," Point said. "You got to get put out in those spots, and guys found me. But it's pretty cool. ... That's a first for me, but like I said, guys made good plays and I was able to score."

 

[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Penguins highlights]

 

Nikita Kucherov had three assists, and Louis Domingue made 28 saves for Tampa Bay (13-5-1) in place of Andrei Vasilevskiy, who is out indefinitely with an undisclosed injury.

Video: Enterprise Hat Trick: Point nets three vs. Penguins

Patric Hornqvist had two goals and an assist, and Matt Murray made 22 saves for Pittsburgh (7-7-3), which was without Sidney Crosby (upper body) and lost for the seventh time in eight games (1-6-1). 

"We talk after every game about our personnel, lineup decisions and what we think gives us the best chance to win," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "We've tweaked lines and combinations to see if we could get a spark. ... We've had some quality chances that we haven't finished. If we finish on those over the last couple of weeks, maybe we're not in the same position that we're in."

Murray started after backing up Casey DeSmith the past three games. He is 4-5-1 this season and has allowed at least four goals in each of his six home starts (1-5-0).

Video: TBL@PIT: Hornqvist nets backhand for second goal

"I think we have to draw on all the positives," Murray said. "I thought we were the better team 5-on-5. So we can definitely build off of that. Obviously, we know that we can't take that many penalties, and if we do, we have to do a better job killing them off. But that was definitely the difference in the game."

Point's three goals came after Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel were called for penalties at 19:37 of the first period, and Matt Cullen 10 seconds later. He cut the lead to 2-1 during the first 5-on-3 at 19:57 of the first period, beating Murray glove side from the left circle.

Point scored 41 seconds into the second period on a one-timer during the second 5-on-3 to tie it 2-2, and gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead at 1:28 on a one-timer in the slot.

"Somebody said it was one of the fastest in League history," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "It didn't feel like it because he scored one of the goals in the first and two in the second. But he found a spot there and it's just great to see because he's such a hard worker and he plays the game the right way. You like to see those guys rewarded, and he was."

Video: TBL@PIT: Gourde blasts home one-timer for PPG

Hornqvist tied it 3-3 with a backhand at the top of the crease at 4:29, but Yanni Gourde put Tampa Bay ahead 4-3 with its fourth power-play goal at 7:56.

Hornqvist gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 10:33 of the first period. Kessel made it 2-0 during a 4-on-3 power play at 13:49 when his shot from the slot deflected off Lightning forward Anthony Cirelli and past Domingue.

 

They said it

"We didn't quit. We knew we would probably get some calls after the flurry of penalties we had in the first. We were able to get fortunate and get a couple 5-on-3s, which the old cliché is if you don't score on your 5-on-3, you probably don't win the game. We get two there, and then one right after on that extended power play. So special teams were huge tonight." -- Lightning captain Steven Stamkos 

 

"We overplayed them 5-on-5. We just gave them too many opportunities to grab the game on the power play. That's it." -- Penguins defenseman Kris Letang

 

Need to know

Point's three goals in 1:31 were the second fastest by a player on the road in NHL history behind Bill Mosienko, who did it in 21 seconds for the Chicago Blackhawks on March 23, 1952. ... Kucherov, who had a secondary assist on each of Point's goals, has 201 assists in the NHL. ... Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman missed a third straight game with an upper-body injury. Defenseman Erik Cernak remained in the lineup with Slater Koekkoek scratched. ... Forward Tanner Pearson made his Penguins debut after being acquired from the Los Angeles Kings for forward Carl Hagelin on Wednesday. He had one hit and was plus-1 in 13:43. ... Letang's assist on Hornqvist's first goal was the 350th of his NHL career, which passed Syl Apps Jr. for sixth in Penguins history.

Video: TBL@PIT: Hornqvist redirects PPG home in front

 

What's next

Lightning: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, NBCSP, SUN, NHL.TV)

Penguins: At the Ottawa Senators on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SN, CITY, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

Video: Point's hat trick lifts Lightning past Penguins

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