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NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay

(Thursday, January 29th)

Final Score: Tampa Bay 5, Pittsburgh 1

Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Brad Richards tallied a goal and an assist to key a three-goal first period, as the Tampa Bay Lightning continued their winning ways with a 5-1 pounding of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the St. Pete Times Forum.

The Tampa Bay victory was the second in three days over Pittsburgh, as the Lightning downed the Penguins 6-2 in the first of a home-and-home set on Tuesday.

Vincent Lecavalier chipped in a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who won their fourth straight and have earned a point in each of their last six overall (4-0-0-2). Pavel Kubina, Martin St. Louis and Brad Lukowich also scored in the victory. Ruslan Fedotenko added three assists for Tampa Bay.

Veteran blueliner Darryl Sydor, who was acquired in a trade from Columbus on Tuesday, made his debut for the Lightning and posted an assist.

"It was a little bit different than playing with Lukowich", said Kubina, who was paired with the newcomer. "I think he (Sydor) is going to help our team on the power play."

Ryan Malone scored the only goal for Pittsburgh, which has now lost eight straight contests. Jean-Sebastien Aubin allowed five goals on 32 shots in the losing effort.

Earlier Tuesday, the Penguins announced that goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, the first overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, will leave the club and return to Cape Breton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The move was made to allow the Penguins to avoid paying a $3 million bonus to Fleury, who was nearing the stipulations in his contract that would have given him the extra money. The 19-year-old served as the backup to Aubin in the contest and will go to Cape Breton on Friday.

Tampa Bay took an early 1-0 lead in the opening period when Richards picked up a loose puck in the slot and fired a wrister past Aubin at 4:44. The tally, the 11th of the season for Richards, was assisted by Jassen Cullimore and Cory Stillman.

Later in the period, two Tampa Bay goals in a 2:13 span staked the Lightning to a three-goal edge.

First, after a scrum along the left-wing boards on the power play, Richards came up with the puck and fed a cross-ice pass to Kubina, whose one-timer found the back of the net.

Lecavalier then broke in all alone and made a great deke move to beat Aubin with 4:20 remaining in the first as Tampa held a 3-0 lead.

Just before four minutes had been completed in the middle stanza, a nice tic- tac-toe passing play accounted for the Lightning's fourth goal. Sydor skated across the blue line and passed to Fedotenko near the left circle. Fedotenko then slid the disc over to St. Louis and he ripped a wrist shot home for his 24th goal.

Lukowich's fourth goal of the season at the 7:36 mark of the second completed the Tampa Bay scoring.

"We've been sticking to the game plan lately and its been working for us," said Lukowich.

Nikolai Khabibulin, who faced just four shots in the first session, allowed one of the five shots he saw in the second period to go past him when Malone beat him on a breakaway at 16:29. Khabibulin ended with 13 saves.

The Penguins were able to muster just five shots on goal in the final frame. They are now 1-8-1 in their last 10 trips to Tampa.

Game Notes

Tampa Bay forward Dave Andreychuk left in the third period with the flu and did not return...The win marked the 100th of Lightning coach John Tortorella's career...St. Louis extended his point streak to eight games...Tampa Bay has scored 17 goals in its last three games...Despite the victory, the Bolts are still just 4-6-2-1 in their last 13 home games...The Lightning improved to 4-0 against Pittsburgh this season...The Pens ended scoreless on four power-play chances, while Tampa Bay went 1-for-3 with the man advantage.

01/29 22:26:13 ET

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