NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay
(Thursday, November 17th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 4, Pittsburgh 1
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Vincent Lecavalier netted a pair of goals, leading the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at St. Pete Times Forum.
Brett Connolly and Steve Downie also scored, and Dwayne Roloson made 33 saves for the Lightning, who won their sixth consecutive game on home ice.
Tyler Kennedy scored the lone goal and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 14 shots for the Penguins, who struggled to crack Tampa Bay's controversial 1-3-1 defensive system.
The Lightning opened the scoring at 8:38 of the first period, when Jordan Staal overskated the puck in his own zone and Lecavalier picked it up at the left circle. Lecavalier shuffled the puck between the legs of Fleury on his backhand for the 1-0 advantage.
Tampa Bay extended its lead to 2-0 on the power play at 4:08 of the second stanza. Dominic Moore fired a turn-around shot on net from the right circle that deflected off Connolly and went behind Fleury.
"All the guys played well tonight and it was a total team effort," Connolly said.
The Lightning struck again on the power play at 2:04 of the third period. Eric Brewer's wrist shot from the left point was blocked by Paul Martin in front. The rebound went right to Downie, who ripped a wrister into the top right corner from the slot to give the Lightning a comfortable 3-0 lead.
Trailing by three, the Pens elected to pull Fleury while shorthanded to make it an even-strength situation. Staal won a key offensive zone draw back to Kris Letang at the left point, but he was pressured immediately and lost the puck. Lecavalier was able to coast down the ice and slide the puck into the empty net at 15:49 for his second tally.
Pittsburgh did manage to get one goal back a minute later, when Kennedy accepted a pass from Martin in the high slot and slapped a shot past Roloson.
"Clearly it was a special teams battle," Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma said. "Two power-play goals for them and us not cashing in on our opportinities. They won the battle, 2-0 and that was pretty much the difference in the game."
This was the first meeting between the teams since Tampa Bay eliminated the Penguins in seven games in the 2011 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals...Thursday marks the beginning of a three-game homestand for the Lightning...Pittsburgh was unable to convert on seven power play opportunities, while the Lightning ended 2-for-6 with the man advantage...The Penguins will head to Sunrise, Florida to battle the Panthers on Saturday, while Tampa Bay welcome the New Jersey Devils to the Forum on Saturday.
11/18 00:56:16 ET