Coming out of the All-Star Break at the beginning of February, the Tampa Bay Lightning were firing on all cylinders winning five of their first six games. The Bolts’ five game win streak had propelled them into first place in the Eastern Conference. However, as the Pittsburgh Penguins strolled into Tampa, things would change. With a 5-1 loss to the five-time Stanley Cup Champions, the Lightning fell to third place in the Eastern Conference.
Bolts vs. Pens Recap
From the opening puck drop, the Penguins were the dominating team. In the first period alone, the Penguins out shot the Bolts 23-9, with the Pens netting two of those 23 shots. The Penguins shot a total of 39 shots throughout the game with Tampa’s Andre Vasilevskiy saving 35 of the 39 shots he faced.
Of Pittsburgh’s 40 shots, long-time Pen’s center, Evgeni Malkin netted one goal and two assists. This was Malkin’s 103rd career three-point game. Sidney Crosby, Danton Heinen, Brock McGinn and Jake Guentzel were the other goal scorers for the Penguins. Penguins goaltender, Tristan Jarry, hauled in 20 on 21 Lightning shots.
Evgeni Malkin recorded the 103rd three-point effort of his career tonight (1G-2A).
Since entering the league in 2006-07, only Sidney Crosby (144) and Alex Ovechkin (114) have more three-point games. pic.twitter.com/J1js0fi72q
— Penguins PR (@PenguinsPR) March 4, 2022
Other than Andre Vasilevskiy’s 35 saves, the Lightning’s only bright spot was Pierre-Edouard Bellemare’s scoring the Bolts’ one and only goal of the night. The Lightning were stuffed on their other 20 shots. But the biggest story of the night for the Bolts was their head coach, Jon Cooper, receiving a game misconduct. Cooper had been frustrated with the officials the entire game and their handling of certain calls.
“I’m not so sure in all the years like, what I said is something that he never heard before in his history of reffing,” Cooper said. “I want to know what that was.”
“They outplayed us. Start to finish.” #PITvsTBL
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) March 4, 2022
Up next for the Tampa Bay Lightning is a matchup against the Detroit Red Wings. This will be the third of three straight home games for the Bolts before they hit the road for a six-game road trip.