The Penguins came back in the third period and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury won his sixth home start in a row in a 4-3 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at Consol Energy Center.
Chris Kunitz gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 4:13 of the first period. Sidney Crosby, draped by Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos near the top of the left circle, dished the puck to Kunitz at the top of the slot. Kunitz one-timed the puck past Lightning goaltender Mathieu Garon's left shoulder.
That gave Kunitz a six-game points streak and four-game goals streak, both career bests. The assist was Crosby's NHL-best 25th and gave him a five-game points streak.
Garon left the game at 2:19 of the second period with an unspecified injury and was replaced by Anders Lindback.
Stamkos tied it, 1-1, with his NHL-leading 16th goal when he tipped in a pass from near the left post at 2:39 of the second period.
The Lightning took a 2-1 lead at 11:59 of the second period with an unconventional goal. Nate Thompson's shot from the left hash marks deflected up off of the stick of the Penguins' Brandon Sutter. The puck struck Tampa Bay's Tom Pyatt in the face and arced high and past Fleury.
Evgeni Malkin, returning after a four-game absence because of a concussion, tied it, 2-2, at 5:38 of the third period with a dazzling move down the Tampa Bay end and around the Lightning's Matthew Carle.
Just 1:51 later, Crosby gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead on a one-timer from Kris Letang after Letang carried the puck behind the Tampa Bay net.
James Neal, set up by Malkin, scored an empty-net goal with 51.5 seconds left in regulation to make it 4-2, and Stamkos scored with 8 seconds left by knocking an airborne puck out of the air to close the scoring.
The Penguins' next game is Thursday at Philadelphia.
Shelly Anderson: email@example.com, 412-263-1721 or Twitter @pgshelly First Published March 5, 2013 3:15 AM