The Penguins score twice in the third period on goals by Pascal Dupuis
and Sergei Gonchar to steal a 2-1 victory away from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Dupuis extended his scoring streak to five games with his goal while Sidney Crosby
's assist on Gonchar's tally ran his scoring streak to nine games. Pittsburgh is now 1-1-1 on this season-high five-game road swing. The Penguins return to action on Wednesday when they return to New Jersey for the final contest of the season against the Devils. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Prudential Center.
Orpik and Downie are sent off for coincidental penalties following the whistle.
Niittymaki is off for a sixth attacker.
Pittsburgh kills the Staal penalty.
Tampa Bay finally gets their first shot of the period off a one-timer from the top of the right circle but Fleury makes the save. Lightning head coach Rick Tocchet uses his timeout following the save.
Staal is in the penalty box for slashing. The Penguins need another big kill.
Now it's the Penguins turn to take away space in the neutral zone and prevent Tampa Bay from establishing a presence in the offensive zone.
Nice job by Jordan Leopold of staying with Steven Stamkos on a rush into the Pittsburgh zone and deflecting his shot attempt into the netting. Tampa Bay still doesn't have a shot in the third period.
Crosby and Ponikarovsky look good playing together here in the third period. Ponikarovsky has done a great job of getting to the front of the net and creating traffic.
The Penguins have all 10 shots thus far in the third period.
Tampa Bay kills off the extra two minutes to Hedman.
12:18: Evgeni Malkin
will not return. No word on the nature of his injury.
Fedotenko and Hedman drops the gloves right in front of Niittymaki. Both players get two minutes for roughing but Hedman gets an extra two minutes for high-sticking. The Penguins head on their third power play of the period.
We are still awaiting word on a potential injury to Evgeni Malkin
The Penguins power play comes through again. Ponikarovsky wins a battle against two Lightning in the near corner and moves the puck to Crosby on the other side. Crosby gets the puck to Sergei Gonchar at the right point. Gonchar unleashes a howitzer through a screen for his 10th goal of the season. Penguins 2, Lightning 1.
Ponikarovsky takes Malkin's place on the top power-play unit as the first penalty expires.
A bad penalty by Szczechura as he shoots the puck into the crowd. The Penguins will have a nine-second two-man advantage. The Penguins use their timeout to rest up the top unit.
Kurtis Foster sends the Penguins right back on the power play. Also, Evgeni Malkin
is not on the Penguins bench. We will get an update as soon as we can.
We have a brand new hockey game! Jordan Staal
's shot from four feet away went sailing over the net but the rebound bounced off the end boards where Pascal Dupuis
threw a shot into the cage from the left of the night. Penguins 1, Lightning 1.
Guerin, Crosby and Gonchar all get good looks at Niittymaki but the Penguins are 0-for-2 on the power play.
The Penguins begin the final period on a power play.
SECOND PERIOD NOTES:
- Sidney Crosby
leads the Penguins with four shots while Ruslan Fedotenko and Pascal Dupuis
each have three.
- Pittsburgh has only been given credit for 10 hits through two periods, although it feels like they have at least double.
- The Penguins will have 1:16 to work with a man-advantage at the outset of the final period.
0:00: Sidney Crosby
had a shot deflect off some bodies in front and land right on the goal line but Tampa Bay is able to clear the puck away before it gets over the line just seconds before the second period comes to an end. Tampa Bay leads, 1-0, after 40 minutes while the Penguins have a 24-17 advantage in shots.
The Penguins have had trouble getting their offense going but an interference penalty against Teddy Purcell puts the Penguins on the man-advantage. They really need a goal here.
Crosby just pretty much embarrassed Andrej Meszaros sprinting down the right side but his shot jumped just over the cage in one of the Penguins best quality scoring chnaces of this period.
The University of Pittsburgh drew a No. 3 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
The Penguins dodged a bullet right there as Brandon Bochenski stole a pass at the Penguins blue line, walked down the slot and just missed on a good look.
Lecavalier does it again to the Penguins. Todd Fedoruk beats the Pittsburgh defense to a loose puck behind Fleury and makes a pass in front to Lecavalier, who quickly beat Fleury to open the scoring. Lightning 1, Penguins 0.
Mike Lundin stepped up to keep the puck in the Pittsburgh zone along the far boards but Craig Adams
lays a shoulder into him and crushes him to the ice.
15:19: Pascal Dupuis
continues to play great hockey from the Penguins. He forces Niittymaki to make a couple pad saves on him from the near circle.
Niittymaki was alert to make a blocker save on a Crosby shot which was deflected on the way through.
Tampa Bay does a nice job to collapse around their goal and prevent Ponikarovsky and Fedotenko from jamming home the rebound of Malkin's shot.
The Penguins look to break a scoreless tie at St. Pete Times Forum.
FIRST PERIOD NOTES:
- Sidney Crosby
led the Penguins with two blocked shots.
- Brooks Orpik
had a team-high four hits.
- Orpik also saw a team-high 8:36 minutes of ice time.
No score after 20 minutes at the St. Pete Times Forum. Pittsburgh outshoots the Lightning, 13-10.
As great as those saves were by Niittymaki, Fleury just made the save of the period at the other end. Fleury quickly moved left to right to make a stop on Paul Szczechura's snap shot from the bottom of the far circle. Lecavalier made a great pass to find the Szczechura's blade.
Another huge save by Niittymaki, this time with the glove. Alexei Ponikarovsky won a puck battle in the corner and found Ruslan Fedotenko in the far circle. Fedotenko pegged a shot for the upper-left corner of the cage but Niittymaki made the save.
Niittymaki just made a save Gonchar look easy as he flashed the right pad on a quick snap shot from Gonchar cutting down the slot.
5:10: Brooks Orpik
just throws the best hit of the first period by stepping up and drilling Teddy Purcell to the ice at the top of the Pittsburgh blue line.
More pictures to make us all jealous at the weather down in Tampa Bay.
Mike Rupp just ripped a shot from the left circle off the far post as Pittsburgh almost draws first blood.
Pittsburgh has killed off both penalties assessed to them as Malkin is back on the ice.
Malkin gets a roughing penalty for attempting to fend off a defender as he brought the puck out of his own zone.
I hope Downie realizes he has basically asked for Crosby to take over this game. Niittymaki just had to make a good save on the Penguins captain from the right of the cage.
Beautiful days like this remind you that playoff hockey is right around the corner!
Both teams are back to full strength. Definitely good to see Crosby back out on the ice.
Fleury looks on his game again. He just robbed Vincent Lecavalier's one-timer with his chest protector.
As the Tampa Bay power play begins Crosby did test his knee after Guerin was penalized.
Pittsburgh's power play is an abreviated one as Bill Geurin is sent to the box for interference.
Well, this isn't good. Steve Downie takes an absolute cheap shot at Sidney Crosby
. Trainer Chris Stewart is looking at Sid and we will get an update ASAP. Penguins on the power play as a result.
It doesn't take Stamkos long to get a shot on net but Fleury makes the save with his arm.
20:00: Marc-Andre Fleury
gets the call once again in goal for the Penguins against the Lightning's Antero Niittymaki.
STAT OF THE NIGHT:
The Penguins have been victorious in seven of the past 10 games in the series.
If the Penguins are to skate away with their first win of this five-game road trip they are going to have to find a way to contain Lightning second-year superstar Steven Stamkos. He is coming off an 18-game point streak which saw him record 33 points (17G-16A) during the stretch.
A couple lineup changes for the Penguins heading into today's game. Maxime Talbot and Alex Goligoski will be healthy scratches, with Tyler Kennedy
and Jay McKee taking their place. Kennedy will skate on the fourth line with Mike Rupp and Craig Adams
, while McKee will be paired with Jordan Leopold. Former Penguin and Upper St. Clair native Ryan Malone will miss his second straight game for the Lightning with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Injured defenseman Mattias Ohlund, the minutes-eater on the blueliner for Tampa Bay, is out with a lower-body injury.
The Penguins continue along their five-game road swing with a visit to the St. Pete Times Forum to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both have won once on their home ice against one another. Pittsburgh defeated Tampa Bay, 4-1, at Mellon Arena on Oct. 17. The Lightning came back and bested the Penguins, 3-1, on Jan. 2.
Author: Jason Seidling