TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA – Although the Penguins dropped a 5-3 decision to the Lightning in Tampa Bay, there were a few bright spots to take away from the game.
Center Craig Adams
, mostly noted for his defensive prowess, was an offensive force in the contest. Adams broke a 118-game goal-less streak in the regular season and tied a career high by posting three points (1G-2A).
Adams’ tied the game at 1-1 when he buried a shorthanded goal at 3:28 of the first period. Matt Cooke
made a great play in the neutral zone, knocking down his own teammate’s clearing attempt and springing Adams on a semi-breakaway. Adams ripped a shot into the netting behind goaltender Mike Smith.
Just one minute later, Adams got on the score sheet again as the Penguins were still killing the same penalty. Adams made a beautiful pass to send Kris Letang
in on goal for a breakaway. Cooke scored off of Letang’s rebound.
The last time the Penguins scored two shorthanded goals on the same penalty was April 11, 2009 at Montreal on scores by Letang and Maxime Talbot.
But Adams’ offensive explosion wasn’t over yet. After stepping out of the penalty box, serving his own penalty, Adams got the puck to Pascal Dupuis
above the paint. Dupuis made a great move to his backhand for the tally that chased Smith from net.
Pittsburgh also got another solid performance out of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury
. Despite giving up an early goal, the Penguins netminder was solid in the second period to keep his team in the game. Fleury, who finished the game with 26 saves, held the fort on two breakaways (Nate Thompson and Sean Bergenheim) and a penalty shot (Bergenheim).
“I liked a lot of what I saw (in Fleury’s play),” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “They jammed the crease and made it tough for him. He stood strong. There were a couple of times he was huge for us in the second on two breakaways and a penalty shot. He was strong for us tonight and gave us a chance by keeping it even when it was 3-3. It’s disappointing to see that slip away from our team.”