NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh
(Wednesday, February 4th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 4, Tampa Bay 3 (OT)
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Evgeni Malkin scored the game-winner with 15.5 seconds left in overtime as the Pittsburgh Penguins erased a three-goal deficit in the third period, rallying to top the Lightning, 4-3, at Mellon Arena.
Malkin paved the way for the win, scoring the Pens' first goal 2:25 into the third period and assisting on Petr Sykora's game-tying goal with 3:29 left in regulation. Mark Eaton notched the other score as Pittsburgh snapped a three- game slide in dramatic fashion.
Marc-Andre Fleury surrendered three goals over the first two periods but buckled down to make 21 saves and help secure the win.
Last season's Eastern Conference champions had lost four of five coming in and remain just 6-11-1 in their last 18 games overall.
Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier had a goal and an assist each while Ryan Malone also scored for Tampa Bay, which has lost four straight games after tying a season-best with wins in its previous three contests.
Mike McKenna received his first NHL start after making his debut in relief during Tuesday's loss to the Islanders, but took the loss after allowing four goals on 35 shots. Regular No. 1 goaltender Mike Smith is considered day-to- day with a lower-body injury.
The Pens finally got on the board early in the third as Malkin picked off a clearing attempt at the left point and fed Pascal Dupuis for a one-timer in the slot. Dupuis' shot trickled through, and settled behind McKenna as Malkin circled the net and poked in the loose puck.
Eaton then fired the puck in front from off the left boards and watched as it took a lucky bounce off a Lightning defender and past McKenna at 14:06.
Things began to unravel for Tampa Bay from there as Gary Roberts was goaded into taking an ill-timed roughing call and the Pens tied the game on the power play.
Malkin took a pass down low to the right of the net and directed the puck in front where Sykora was able to bang it home during a scramble.
The game went to overtime where Kris Letang had a potential game-winner wiped out by a quick whistle with 36.2 on the clock but less than 21 seconds later Jordan Staal and Malkin combined for the winning theatrics.
Staal outmaneuvered two would-be Tampa Bay defenders coming out of the right corner and slipped a pass in front of the net where Malkin snapped off a quick shot while being taken to the ice to light the lamp.
The Lightning built up a 3-0 lead over the first two periods only to watch it slip away. Malone was in position to score off the carom of a Mark Recchi shot with 4:35 to go in the first and, at the five-minute mark of the second, St. Louis one-timed a broken pass from the right circle that sailed past Fleury on the short side.
Later in the period, Lecavalier worked a give-and-go with Vinny Prospal on a rush. Prospal bided his time and drew an extra defender before sending the puck back to Lecavalier for an easy stuff-in.
Tampa posted a 2-0 victory in Pittsburgh on December 23 in the only previous meeting between the clubs this season. The Pens have won four of the last six encounters...Wednesday's test kicked off a four-game homestand for the Penguins, who are now 13-11-2 as the host...The Lightning fell to 9-16-3 as the guest this year and next return to Tampa for a six-game homestand, which begins with Saturday's test against the Islanders.
02/04 23:09:50 ET