NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay
(Saturday, January 2nd)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 3, Pittsburgh 1
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Mike Smith was strong in net with 25 saves and Steve Downie recorded a goal and an assist as Tampa Bay defeated Pittsburgh by a 3-1 margin at St. Pete Times Forum.
Martin St. Louis and Zenon Konopka also scored for the Lightning, who have won three of four and five of the last seven games overall. Steven Stamkos and Mattias Ohlund each added two assists to the victory as Tampa Bay closed out its five-game homestand at 3-1-1.
Marc-Andre Fleury registered 34 saves and Bill Guerin scored the lone goal for the Penguins, who matched their longest losing streak of the season with a fourth straight defeat.
The defending Stanley Cup champions have dropped five of six games overall and are riding their longest skid since losing four in a row from November 5-12.
"We don't want to play like this. There are some questions that we're asking ourselves. It's not an easy time, but we're still in a good spot and we've still got a good team. We'll get through it," said Guerin.
The Bolts took the lead only 1:03 into the contest when St. Louis received a long pass from Ohlund in front of the net and lifted a backhander over a sprawled Fleury.
Guerin got the equalizer for Pittsburgh with a backhander of his own 2:45 before the close of the period.
Tampa Bay broke the deadlocked score by crashing the net following a Stamkos shot as Konopka swiped the puck past a prone Fleury for a 2-1 lead with 5:34 to go in the second.
"We just tried to forecheck as much as possible and we got a lot of loose pucks. When you get loose pucks, 2-on-1's -- good opportunities happen," said Lightning defenseman Kurtis Foster.
Fleury was able to keep the Pens' deficit at one by denying Vincent Lecavalier on a penalty shot a little less than five minutes into the third. Tampa Bay, though, got its two-goal lead a short time later when Downie collected a blocked shot by Lecavalier low in the right circle and beat Fleury to the glove side at 7:11.
Smith made 17 saves over the final 40 minutes to key the win.
Tampa Bay improved to 10-5-5 as the host this year while Pittsburgh fell to 13-8-0 on the road...The Pens will look to avoid a winless four-game road trip when they play the Florida Panthers on Sunday...Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar sat out with a bruised right foot suffered while blocking a shot against New Jersey on Wednesday...Pittsburgh had taken four straight and six of seven overall in this series entering play Saturday. That included wins in the last four trips to the Forum.
01/02 23:46:00 ET