Penguins beat Lightning 5-3
Penguins' Sidney Crosby celebrates his goal in the first period.
The Penguins' Pascal Dupuis congratulates Paul Martin on a goal against the Lightning in the first period at Consol Energy Center.
Beau Bennett celebrates his first NHL goal with Sidney Crosby, and Kris Letang.
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Playing without injured center Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins held off the Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-3, tonight at Consol Energy Center.
The Penguins took over first place in the Atlantic Division with 26 points. They finished a three-game homestand 2-1 and improved their home record to 4-3.
The Penguins jumped to a 3-0 lead after one period, with Sidney Crosby getting the first two goals.
Crosby made it 1-0 at 1:16 of the first period. Chris Kunitz stole the puck from Tampa Bay's Benoit Pouliot at center ice and set up Crosby, who floated a shot over the blocker of Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback.
At 7:15 of the first period, Crosby, near the right goal post, shoved the puck into a crowd around the crease. The puck bounced off of the back of Lindback's left pad and the goalie's right skate knocked the puck backward into his own net.
Paul Martin gave the Penguins a 3-0 lead with 33.9 seconds left in the first period. He scored on a rebound after Matt Cooke stole the puck at the other end of the ice.
Cooke's assist was the 200th of his career.
For the start of the second period, former Penguin Mathieu Garon replaced Lindback in goal for Tampa Bay. Lindback gave up three goals on 10 shots.
The Lightning got two quick goals in the second period.
Eric Brewer got credit for a goal that made it 3-1 at 1:37 of the second period when his backhand shot from the right circle bounced high off of the Penguins' Brooks Orpik and into the net.
Steven Stamkos scored on a one-timer during a five-on-three power play to pull Tampa Bay to within 3-2 at 3:14 of the second period.
The Penguins regained a two-goal cushion with a five-on-three power-play goal at 12:20 of the second period. Rookie Beau Bennett, from just below the left dot, one-timed a pass from Crosby to make it 4-2.
The assist gave Crosby 637 career points (232 goals, 405 assists), moving him into third place in Penguins history behind Mario Lemieux (1,723 points) and Jaromir Jagr (1,079). It came in Crosby's 453rd game.
It also extended the Penguins streak of games with a power-play goal to 11.
Tampa Bay pulled back to within a goal, 4-3, when Cory Conacher scored off of a rebound of a Victor Hedman shot at 3:15 of the third period.
Cooke added an empty-net goal with 51.2 seconds left in regulation.
The Penguins' next game is Tuesday at Florida.
First Published February 24, 2013 10:16 pm