Penguins Beat Lightning 3-2 in Penalty Filled Matchup

Despite being outshot 39-24, the Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender duo of Dany Sabourin and John Curry stopped all but 2-shots to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Monday night.  In what could have been billed as a battle of mostly third-line players, there were 5-fighting majors, a boarding major, 3-game misconducts for a total of 101-minutes in penalties.  The Penguins beat the Lightning on goals by Kris Letang, Max Talbot and Tyler Kennedy.  Kris Letang contirbuted with 2-points (1G, 1A), as did Alex Goligoski (2A).  Letang and Goligoski played very well with good chemistry together. 

The Lightning struck early as Jussi Jokinen scored the first goal of the game on their first shot just 46 seconds in on a feed by Evgeny Artyukhin, beating Dany Sabourin.  The early goal spurred some much anticipated emotion amongst the largely rookie lineups and ultimately resulted in a fight between Zenon Konopka and Aaron Boogard at 2:06.  The Penguins subsequently failed to convert on two power play opportunities as Evgeny Artyukhin took back-to-back penalties at 4:16 and 7:09.  However, as they say, the third time is a charm.  At 14:36, with Paul Szczechura in the box for tripping, Kris Letang tipped in a shot by Alex Goligoski to tie it up 1-1.  The Penguins failed to convert on another power play opportunity late in the 1st as Ryan Malone sat for a high stick.  But at 18:!9, Max Talbot put the Penguins ahead 2-1 on a nifty even-strength backhander that beat the Lightning’s Olie Kolzig.  Ruslan Fedotenko and William Thomas picked up the assists.  Less than a minute later, Zenon Konopka continued his quest for a fighting hat trick by taking on Danny Richmond.  A total of 30-minutes in penalty time was called in the period, including 20-minutes in fighting majors.  The Penguins were 1-for-3 on the power play, and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill.  Despite the extra man advantage opportunities, the Penguins were outshot 15-9. 

In the 2nd period, the Lightning found the back of the net at 2:56 as former Penguins Michel Ouellet let a wrister go that beat Dany Sabourin.  Dana Tyrell and Ty Wishart got the assists.  With 10:15 left to go in the period, Coach Therrien swapped goalies and put John Curry in net.  At 14:32, David Koci and Paul Bissonnette squared off and each picked up a fighting major.  At 16:59, Ruslan Fedotenko was given a 5-minute major for boarding Janne Niskala.  The Penguins went 0-for-1 on the power play and were 2-for-2 on the penalty kill, including the 5-minute major to Fedotenko.  The Penguins were again seriously outshot by 17-6.   

At 4:12 of the 3rd period, the referees got to doll out the penalties as David Koci slashed Paul Bissonnette and all hell broke lose.  Koci and Bissonnette quickly squared off, while Zenon Konopka was eager to get his fighting hat trick by squaring off with Adam Henrich.  When the dust settled, all four players picked up 5-minute majors for fighting.  Additionally Koci and Bissonnette each got a 10-minute game misconduct.  Zenon Konopka also picked up a mandatory game misconduct for his third fighting major of the game.  In all, 52-minutes in penalties were handed out at this stoppage in play to 4-players.  When play finally resumed, it only took the Penguins 42 seconds to convert the emotion into a goal as Tyler Kennedy beat Kolzig with a wrister from Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski.  The teams finished the period with 5-shots aside. 

The Penguins return home to Pittsburgh where they will face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.  It was reported by Phil Bourque that there will likely be a big cut in the Penguins’ training camp roster announced sometime on Tuesday.  In other news, Sergei Gonchar is expected to get an MRI this week to further evaluate the shoulder injury he received in Saturday night’s pre-season opener.

Leave a reply