The Tampa Bay Lightning dropped their second consecutive game on the road to the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight by a score of 4-1 at the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh.
Like a college freshman returning home for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Lightning will certain let out a sigh of relief when they arrive back in Tampa tonight.
Goals by Bill Guerin and Sergei Gonchar in the first period put the Lightning behind the curve early. Guerin’s power play score at 4:57, with Drew Miller in the penalty box for high-sticking, started when Antero Nittymaki, starting in the net for Tampa, came out of the crease to stop a shot from the stick of Evengi Malkin. The rebound arrived on Guerin’s stick and he easily put the puck in the net to open the scoring.
The Lightning climbed back into the game when they cut the deficit to one goal at 6:18 of period two when Steven Stamkos batted a rebound from the stick of Marty St. Louis into the Pittsburgh net, past Marc-Andre Fleury. In addition to St. Louis, who now has earned an assist in seven straight games, Vincent Lecavalier also earned a point. For Stamkos, the score was his fourth of the season and third with the extra attacker. The assist for St. Louis kept his consecutive scoring streak alive at seven games.
Less than two minutes later Pittsburgh got the score back when Pascal Dupuis deflected a shot from Gonchar past Nittymaki to open the lead to 3-1.
The third period belonged to Pittsburgh and they insured their victory at 11:21 as Michael Rupp connected on a wrist shot from the bottom of the right faceoff circle.
Tampa Bay was unable to add another score as Marc-Andre Fluery stopped 22 of 23 shots on the night for the victory, his seventh of the season.
From there, the Lightning were able to make scant headway against the Penguins, and the game ended with Tampa Bay trailing 4-1. The Lightning were also out shot, 33-23, and outhit, 24 – 22, on the night.
Tampa Bay (2-3-2) will now have the opportunity to put this brief road trip behind them as they return to the St. Pete Times Forum for four home games beginning Thursday against the San Jose Sharks.
Lightning Bolts: Mattias Ohlund, Steven Stamkos and Ryan Malone led Tampa Bay with four shots on net apiece…Victor Hedman had 23:15 of ice time to lead all skaters…the Lightning were outhit on the evening, 24-22…Zenon Konopka continued his domination in the faceoff circle winning 6 faceoffs while losing only one…both clubs went 1 of 7 on the powerplay…Nittymaki ended the game with 29 saves on 33 shots.
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