Recap: Penguins 4, Lightning 3

The two-headed monster of Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby was out in full force providing two goals a piece for a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

This game was thoroughly entertaining and featured a 2-goal comeback for the second game in a row.

In the first period, the scoring got started when Crosby somehow avoided contact with Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and swept a puck past him as he was falling. Jonathan Drouin tied the game with a power play goal a little under six minutes later.

The Lightning scored two goals and the Pens got one from Evgeni Malkin on the power play to the tune of a 3-2 Lightning lead after two.

Then, the third period happened, as it often does, in the Penguins favor.

The Penguins were gifted two power play goals and it proved to be too much for Vasilevskiy and the Bolts. Crosby scored his 107th career power play goal in a Penguins uniform. Malkin took over second place all time in Penguins history with his 111th career power play goal.

Matt Murray was not his sharpest tonight but turned away 20 of 23 shots to help keep the Penguins in it.

Three Impressions

  1. The Penguins are actually a three-headed monster. Between Crosby, Malkin, and Phil Kessel, the Penguins are loaded. To the rest of the league, Kessel has quietly racked together 30 points this season with 21 of them being assists. Crosby has put together 20 goals in 22 games played. Malkin, despite his excessive penalties, has been on the scoresheet a ton too. All three currently hold a spot in the top-10 in points right now.
  2. The Penguins have proven that they can win with average goaltending. Between Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury, not every game is going to play out in the goalies favor. When you look at Murray’s performance Saturday night you can see that he wasn’t his sharpest. The Penguins were still able to shrink the 3-1 deficit and comeback to win. Fleury hasn’t been that good at all this season with an 8-5-0, .900 SV%, 3.42 GAA stat line and he’s still got 8 wins because the Penguins have scored for him. Murray and Fleury should continue to put up enough of a fight that four goals should be enough to win.
  3. Eric Fehr looks very irrelevant at the moment. Fehr has 5 points in 26 games. Of course he was producing a lot of fourth line minutes until he was scratched for a second straight game. But the Penguins fourth line has been producing all year and Fehr hasn’t been part of that production. When Tom Kuhnhackl slotted in Thursday night, he was able to deflect in a Scott Wilson shot for a goal and his second of the year. It’s very unlikely the Pens will look to trade Fehr because there is so much depth that any injury can slot in another deserving person. But they will try to find ways to keep the hot hands in as well as potentially trying to find winger Jake Guentzel a spot on the NHL roster.
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