Nov 30, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates after he scored a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Penguins Comeback to Win 4-2 After Slow Start Against Lightning

The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 on the road Thursday night. The Lightning scored two goals in the first period but could not get past Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry in the next two periods. The Penguins scored four unanswered goals to get their 11th win of the season. Tampa Bay fell to 10-9-5 on the season and have lost consecutive home games for the second time this season.

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Lightning Dominate the First Period

Tampa Bay had a strong start to the game. Jake Guentzel had a major chance for the Penguins after a turnover 2:20 into the game, but Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made the save with his right pad. Guentzel’s chance ended up as one of the few chances the Penguins produced in the first 20 minutes. After the opportunity, the Lightning brought more intensity on the offensive end.

The Lightning scored their first goal at 9:06 after the Penguins could not clear their zone. Jarry saved the first shot from Victor Hedman but could not save the second shot after the tip shot by Steven Stamkos. That goal marked the 10th goal of the season for the Lightning captain. Tampa Bay went on the power play with 9:23 left in the first period and capitalized on it.

At 12:33, Tanner Jeannot scored off of a rebounded shot from Mikhail Sergachev to put the Lightning up 2-0. Then, Pittsburgh produced a chance on the power play with Guentzel in front of the net. However, he could not get a clean shot on Vasilevskiy. The Lightning put up 17 of the first 19 shots of the game and outshot Pittsburgh 17-5 in the period.

Penguins Capitalize Off Turnovers to Tie it

The start of the second period seemed to be more of the same as the first 20 minutes. In the first two minutes, Jarry saved a backhand shot from Stamkos, who almost got his second goal of the night just a few seconds after that chance. At the 8:42 mark, Tampa Bay camped in the offensive zone and looked for a goal. However, Nikita Kucherov turned the puck over at the blue line and the Penguins went on the rush. At 8:53, Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby shot the puck top shelf on Vasilevskiy to cut the deficit to one.

That goal proved to be crucial for the Penguins, as they began to take control in Tampa Bay’s defensive zone. Pittsburgh almost tied it with just over five minutes left in the period, but Vasilevskiy stretched out just enough to deny Drew O’Connor. At 15:11, Bryan Rust had a pass off of his skate in front of goal that Vasilevskiy denied.

Tampa Bay got into the offensive zone with 45 seconds left, but Nick Perbix lost the puck. The Penguins broke again on the rush, and with 36 seconds left, Evgeni Malkin found O’Connor for the game-tying goal. The second period was a complete contrast to the first period for the Penguins. Pittsburgh put up 19 shots in the second period and only allowed seven Lightning shots.

Jarry Makes Big Saves and Scores a Big Goal

The game was up for grabs in the third period. Just over a minute into the third, Jarry made a chest save from the shot by Kucherov. The Penguins took the lead at 2:49, as veteran Jeff Carter scored his first goal of the season. Carter and Matt Nieto linked up well in the offensive zone off the rush to score the go-ahead goal for the Penguins.

A few minutes later, the Lightning almost tied the game after the puck went behind Jarry. Though, Marcus Pettersson knocked the puck out of the air to prevent a possible game-tying goal. The Lightning earned a power play with 12:23 left in the game, but Jarry and the Penguins’ penalty kill stood strong. Jarry continued to make saves, though the Lightning did not test him as much after the penalty.

With 1:20 left in the game, Vasilevskiy got pulled for an extra attacker. Tampa Bay tried moving the puck quickly through the neutral zone but it trickled to Jarry. He got the puck and did not hesitate to shoot it down the ice. The shot went the length of the ice for a goalie goal. That goal put the Penguins up 4-2 and it became the first goalie goal in franchise history. Jarry scored the 17th goalie goal in NHL history and became the 14th different goalie to do so.

The time trickled down after the goal and the Penguins pulled out a 4-2 win. Jarry saved 39 of 41 shots, while Vasilevskiy saved 25 of 28. Pittsburgh improved to 11-10-1 and will face the Philadelphia Flyers at home Saturday night. The Lightning will face the Dallas Stars Saturday afternoon.

About Matt Rothmann

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