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DOMINATION: Penguins, Malkin Dominate Defending Champs, Beat Tampa Bay 5-1

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Pittsburgh Penguins game, Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1

The Pittsburgh Penguins (34-14-8) won their third game in a row, this time beating, nay dominating, the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning (35-12-6). The Penguins made only rare mistakes, held their own in the rough stuff, and got goals from their superstars and second scoring in the 5-1 win at Amalie Arena.

The game had the tense atmosphere of a playoff preview, complete with intensity and scrums. Sidney Crosby netted a power-play goal, Evgeni Malkin buried a breakaway, as did Brock McGinn. And Danton Heinen chipped a rebound into the net. Jake Guentzel (26) scored the empty netter with six minutes remaining.

It’s been so long, fans and perhaps the Penguins themselves may not have recognized the team that showed up in the first period. The Penguins dominated Tampa Bay for nearly the entirety of the first period, which extended through the game. The Penguins outshot Tampa Bay 16-5 and had more shot attempts, 31-14. The Penguins also outscored Tampa Bay, 2-0, too.

A few minutes into the game, the Penguins effort to get to the net and pressure Tampa Bay was evident. Center Evgeni Malkin galloped out of his own zone, dished to Kasperi Kapanen on the right wing, and barged to the net. Danton Heinen (12) finished Kapanen’s rebound.

It was both a 5v5 goal and a marker from a secondary scorer. Both have been missing from the Pittsburgh Penguins game.

The Penguins power play also turned Tampa Bay inside out. After over one minute of crisp puck movement and retrieval, Jake Guenzel surprised everyone with a cross-slot pass to Sidney Crosby (17), whose wrister found the yawning cage.

Late in the first period, Jake Guentzel had more shots than the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-3.

The Penguins pushed the play, but a mistake wound up in their net. Midway through the second period, Kris Letang’s soft backhand pass became a short breakaway goal for Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (7).

However, the Penguins’ domination of the game largely continued. By the end of the second period, the Penguins were outshooting Tampa Bay, 28-13, and they extended their lead to 3-1 later in the period.

Jeff Carter and Evan Rodrigues created a defensive zone turnover, and Rodrigues sprang Brock McGinn on a breakaway. McGinn (11) further dipped Andre Vasilevskiy’s stats by slipping a shot through the Vezina favorite’s five-hole.

At the end of the second period, the creaking sound was Pandora’s box opening. Penguins defenseman Mark Friedman, who was agitating Tampa Bay for much of the period, received a healthy slash by Corey Perry. The Lighting’s Perry then slashed goalie Tristan Jarry after a whistle.

Friedman bodyslammed Perry. Jarry added a few cross-checks. Gloved punches and tackles ensued. Jim Carr didn’t have to yell, “This is hockey,” but it almost got there. The Penguins received a power play after Perry and Anthony Cirelli received roughing calls to match Friedman’s. Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper got the boot for arguing (abuse of officials).

The Pittsburgh Penguins got a 5v3 power play which bridged the end of the second period and minute of the third. The Penguins failed to score. Even with the lead throughout the third period, the Penguins still outshot Tampa Bay 11-8.

Midway through the third period, Evgeni Malkin completed his impressive performance. After some jousting with Bellemare, Malkin (10) stole the puck at the defensive blue line for a long breakaway goal.

Tristan Jarry won the battle of Vezina hopefuls by stopping 20 of 21 shots. Vasilevskiy stopped 35 of 39. Malkin led all players with six shots. Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust had five shots on goal. Malkin had three points (1-2-3).

Kris Letang and Brayden Point dropped the gloves at the end of the second period.

The Penguins won’t have time to enjoy the win. They visit the Carolina Hurricanes Friday night.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Katz
Katz
8 months ago

Excellent. Best I’ve seen Malkn play in years.

Dave Heyl
Dave Heyl
8 months ago

Give Kapanen some credit best he looked in months!

Wasnt
8 months ago

Friedman was driving Tampa nuts and after last game keeping the puck out of the net is really proving to be a factor.
Nice win boys.

Uros
Uros
8 months ago

The solution is obvious. Trade Malkin and Letang because we will be ousted in the playoffs in the first round. Of course the entire 4th line, especially Simon, must be benched because they were pinning Tampa in their zone way too much. You know, I think it’s time, and I’ve said it before, to stop waiting to whine after a loss and focus on the entire season this team is having. They might be beaten heavily tomorrow or in any other game, but they are playing some of the best hockey I’ve seen in years, taking into account all… I… Read more »

Chase Cranson
Chase Cranson
8 months ago

Trade Malkin and Letang? What are you kidding someone doesn’t understand no trade contracts either way Pens just need to get past 1st round there will be no major changes at the deadline unless a serious injury comes up. Sill may need a veteran goalkeeper and the 4 th line needs tweaked.

D1VE is Dumb
D1VE is Dumb
8 months ago
Reply to  Chase Cranson

I am pretty sure he was mocking you and Katz’s usual contributions to the comments section.

brandon o
brandon o
8 months ago

Some observations… Friedman is providing some energy and has fresh legs, giving the pens a needed assurance of depth for the defense. I think he should be given more games, even when Matheson comes back. Dumo needs to find his game, his play has been concerning lately. maybe hes dealing with some injuries and needs a break. Letang should be playing a little bit less minutes to keep him fresh and limit the turnovers. If his pinches arent perfectly timed, it often leads to odd man rushes the other way. I think this would be reduced if we could keep… Read more »