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Pens try to rebound in Tampa
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Penguins aim to bounce back from their first loss of the season when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning for Saturday's battle at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
After going 3-0 to begin the season with Marc-Andre Fleury in net, the Penguins stumbled in the NHL debut of Jeff Zatkoff on Friday. Zatkoff gave up six goals on 30 shots as Pittsburgh dropped a 6-3 road decision to the Florida Panthers, who went 2-for-4 on the power play.
"It was good to get in, but not the way I planned for it to go," Zatkoff said. "I need to make a few more saves in critical times in the game. I wasn't able to do that. That was the difference. I have to be better."
Fleury will be back between the pipes on Friday, as he tries to continue his strong start to the season. The 28-year-old is 3-0 with a 1.00 goals against average and has stopped 79 of the 82 shots sent his way in 2013-14.
Craig Adams, Evgeni Malkin and Pascal Dupuis each scored once for the Penguins in Friday's loss, while Sidney Crosby posted an assist to give him at least a point in all four games this season.
Friday's game was Pittsburgh's first road test of the season. The Penguins fared well as the guest during the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign, posting identical 18-6-0 records at home and on the road.
The Lightning enter Saturday's contest riding a three-game winning streak. Tampa Bay lost its season opener in Boston, but then took games in Chicago and Buffalo to complete a three-game road trip before routing the Panthers in the home opener on Thursday.
Steven Stamkos notched his sixth career hat trick as the Lightning dominated the visiting Panthers, 7-2, at the Forum. Stamkos scored a shorthanded goal in the first, added an even-strength tally in the second and capped the hat trick with a power-play score in the third.
Stamkos was second in the NHL with 29 goals during the shortened season in 2013, but had gone three straight games without a goal this year before breaking through on Thursday.
"It feels great to help your team win," said Stamkos. "There's no better feeling than producing and helping your team win, especially in front of the fans."
Valtteri Filppula scored twice, Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist, while Ondrej Palat also lit the lamp for the Lightning. Teddy Purcell added three helpers and Ben Bishop had 19 saves and an assist in the win for Tampa Bay.
On Saturday, the Lightning will play the second test of a seven-game homestand, the club's longest stay at the Forum this season. Tampa Bay was 12-10-2 on home ice last season compared to a 6-16-2 mark on the road.
Pittsburgh has claimed six straight in this series and it scored four or more goals against Tampa in each win during that streak. The Penguins have taken the last two encounters in Florida and seven of their last 11 road games in this series.
10/12 10:55:29 ET