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Fleury leads Penguins over Lightning

Marc-Andre Fleury made 15 saves to lead the Penguins over the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1. Pascal Dupuis, Alex Goligoski, Max Talbot, Sidney Crosby and Deryk Engelland scored for Pittsburgh.

Penguins 5 – Lightning 1

Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh

Marc-Andre Fleury allowed only one goal – a 5-on-3 marker by Steven Stamkos – while the Pens scored five in a near perfect rebound game against Tampa. Following Wednesday night’s debacle against the Bruins, the Pens put defense first, surrendering only 16 shots to a team led by the NHL’s leading scorer. While the Pens couldn’t keep Stamkos off of the score sheet, Sidney Crosby inched one point closer to the 20-year-old from Tampa with a goal and an assist. Even Deryk Engelland notched a goal – his first in the NHL – as the Penguins maintained and extended their two-goal, third-period lead this time. While Friday’s game could be the beginning of a hot streak for the Pens, and the end of Marc-Andre Fleury’s woes, the power play still struggled, failing on all four attempts, including an uninterrupted four-minute advantage.

GAME FLOW

The first period of Friday’s game couldn’t have been more different than Wednesday’s first frame. Both teams started out very slow offensively, combining for only 9 shots in the entire period. While they were dominating the play throughout most of the first, at about the halfway point things got dangerous for the Penguins after turning the puck over twice and allowing an odd-man break in a matter of seconds. Marc-Andre Fleury bailed out his teammates, though, and they entered the second period tied at zero.

Fleury stayed sharp to start the second period as well, making a crucial save on speedy sniper Martin St. Louis, who had a breakaway after a Penguins’ turnover. Finally, 8:01 into the second period, the Penguins broke the stalemate when Pascal Dupuis tipped in Kris Letang’s shot from the point. Twenty-seven seconds later Mike Rupp found Alex Goligoski across the slot, allowing the talented defenseman to bury the puck behind Tampa goalie Mike Smith.

A test for the Penguins power play came late in second when Sean Bergenheim took a four-minute penalty for high sticking, but they failed to capitalize at the end of the period, and let the opportunity expire completely in the first 54 seconds of the third. Shortly after their power play expired, Brooks Orpik drew blood on a high stick giving the Lightning the extra man for four minutes. Pascal Dupuis took a penalty to give the Lightning a 5-on-3 advantage. Steven Stamkos wasted no time on the power play, rocketing a shot into the top right corner. It looked like penalties might cost them their third period lead when Matt Cooke took a penalty 45 seconds after Dupuis’s minor. On the Lightning’s second two-man advantage, stellar goaltending and a few lucky bounces gave the home team a huge boost as they killed both penalties to maintain their lead.

Hard work on the boards in the Penguins’ defensive zone led to an odd-man break for Max Talbot and Craig Adams. Talbot skated down the left wing with the puck and opted to shoot – a smart move as he easily lifted the puck over Mike Smith’s left shoulder to put the Penguins up by two. Pittsburgh wasn’t done yet, though, as Sidney Crosby and Deryk Engelland both added a goal to completely extinguish the Lightning

SCORE SHEET

Goals: Dupuis (5), Goligoski (4), Talbot (3), Crosby (11) and Engelland all scored once for the Pens. Stamkos had the Lightning’s only goal.

Assists: Letang, Talbot, Rupp, Letestu, Dupuis, Crosby and Kunitz assisted for Pittsburgh. Martin St. Louis and Teddy Purcell assisted on Tampa’s lone goal.

IN THE NET

Marc-Andre Fleury (2-6-0) made 15 saves for his second win of the season, while Mike Smith (4-3-0) gave up five goals on 20 shots.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Penguins went 0-4 on the power play. Tampa was 1-8.

NOTES

The sold-out crowd chanted Fleury’s name before the start of the game… Pascal Dupuis (3), Max Talbot (2), and Marc-Andre Fleury were the game’s three stars.

UP NEXT

The Pens travel to Atlanta to battle the Thrashers Saturday before returning to Pittsburgh for a three-game homestand against the Rangers, Canucks and Canes next week.

Penguins: 8-8-1

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