Penguins score 6 in 2nd period, beat Lightning 7-3

PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Pittsburgh Penguins enjoyed a breakout night after a tough week.

Sidney Crosby started off a spurt in the second period, and the Penguins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-3 on Sunday night.

Crosby’s power-play goal with 4 1/2 minutes left in the period broke a 2–2 tie and started a sequence in which Pittsburgh scored five goals in 4:27, the second-fastest five-goal total in team history. . Pittsburgh’s outburst highlighted a six-goal second period and helped the Penguins win their second straight after a four-game losing streak.

“I think it’s something we can build on,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan. “Every game is a new challenge, but of course our team can take confidence from the last two games we played.”

Crosby scored his 26th goal of the season and became the first active player – and 14th in NHL history – to record 13 or more 70-point seasons. Evgeni Malkin scored his 23rd goal and added an assist, while Drew O’Connor, Teddy Bluger, Jeff Carter, Jason Zucker and Brian Dumoulin also scored for Pittsburgh. Casey DeSmith stopped 26 shots.

Nikita Kucherov scored his 23rd goal of the season and became the fastest in franchise history to reach 700 career points. Brayden Point scored his 36th of the season and Anthony Cirelli scored his ninth for the Lightning, who have lost four of their last six overall. Brian Elliott made 29 saves.

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said, “You never want to give up so many goals in such a short amount of time.” “It’s tough, but we have to regroup.”

Pittsburgh got some much needed secondary scoring against the Lightning. The Penguins are currently embroiled in a battle for a wild-card playoff spot, as Pittsburgh attempts to survive the longest active playoff streak in North American sports. Pittsburgh has reached the Stanley Cup playoffs in each of the last 16 years.

A six-goal scoring explosion helped the cause on Sunday.

Crosby’s bludger 52 seconds later gave Pittsburgh a 4–2 lead. It was his first goal since 6 December. Carter scored his ninth goal with 2:10 left – just 90 seconds after Bluger’s goal – and Zucker scored 47 seconds later to make it a 6–2 game. Dumoulin scored his first goal in 99 games with 5 seconds remaining in the second.

“I think we capitalized on the momentum,” said Bluger. “Everyone contributed, so it felt good. When we got the momentum going, we really didn’t let it go.

O’Connor opened the scoring for Pittsburgh 3:20 into the game when he tipped Marcus Peterson’s point shot past Elliott. It was O’Connor’s first goal since 24 January.

Cirelli tied it with 3:54 left in the first, as he caught a slice of Zack Bogosian’s point shot, which squeezed through DeSmith’s equipment and went across the line.

Kucherov gave Tampa Bay a 2–1 lead with 1:59 remaining with his milestone goal. Kucherov, who followed up his rebound, has points in five straight games. Point, who assisted on the goal, has a four-game point streak.

Malkin tied the score at 2–2 with a breakaway goal at 6:17 of the second as he caught the lead pass from the penalty box after serving a tripping call and beat Elliott between the legs.

A little over nine minutes later, the Penguins began their scoring explosion to put the game away.

Sullivan said, “I think that’s an important element of winning consistently, just finding offensive production throughout the lineup.” “If we have to rely on the same guys every night to score goals, it is difficult to win consistently. Anytime you can get production across the entire lineup, it helps you maintain success.”


Lightning: Hosts Florida Tuesday night.

Penguins: Tuesday Night in Nashville.

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