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(Saturday, October 12th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 5, Tampa Bay 4
Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Niskanen's power-play goal with just 18.6 seconds left gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.
Skating on the advantage after Richard Panik was whistled for tripping, Pittsburgh set up in the Tampa end and Evgeni Malkin held the puck at the right circle. Malkin sent a saucer pass through a seam to the left point where Niskanen one-timed it past Lindback for the advantage.
"We had to battle through some sloppy play but we did a good job battling back all night," Niskanen said. "We got lucky with them taking a silly penalty late in the game and we scored."
Tampa was unable to muster any chances as the Penguins won for a fourth time in five games to start the season.
Sidney Crosby had his eighth career hat trick along with an assist, while Brooks Orpik scored for Pittsburgh, which got just 14 stops from Marc-Andre Fleury.
Teddy Purcell, Alex Killorn, Valtteri Filppula and Steven Stamkos all scored for the Lightning, who had a three-game win streak snapped. Anders Lindback gave up all five goals on 26 shots in the loss.
"I think that was an even hockey game," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "They got that last break at the end and capitalized on it."
Trailing by a goal entering the third, the Penguins tied the game on Crosby's second of the game as a left point shot by Rob Scuderi was tipped in by Crosby at the right side just 25 seconds in.
Skating on the power play, the Pens saw Malkin use a touch pass from the right boards to get the puck to Jussi Jokinen, who tapped it back from the right circle to Crosby for a wrister and a 4-3 lead with 9:34 to play.
Tampa, though, tied the game again on the power play as Killorn's one-timer from the low left side off a hard pass from Panik found the back of the net with 3:02 left.
The only goal of the first period went to Tampa Bay as a left circle faceoff win in the Pittsburgh end saw the team work crisp passing to get the puck to Filppula, who beat Fleury with a one-timer at 13:25.
Pittsburgh tied the game 2:14 into the second quarter as Jokinen's one-timer from the left circle was stopped, but Crosby was on the doorstep to bang in the rebound.
The Lightning answered three minutes later. Victor Hedman brought the puck into the right point and left a drop pass for Stamkos, who passed the puck over to the left where Martin St. Louis sent it back to Stamkos for a shot past Fleury for a 2-1 lead.
Just two minutes later, though, Pittsburgh got a goal from Orpik, but the Lightning took a 3-2 lead into the final period on Purcell's power-play goal at 15:42.
Pittsburgh hosts Edmonton on Tuesday ... Tampa hosts Los Angeles on Tuesday ... Pittsburgh won all three matchups with Tampa last season and has now won seven in a row ... Pittsburgh was 3-for-5 on the power play, while Tampa was 2-for-5.
10/13 01:30:01 ET
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