The Tampa Bay Lightning (37-11-2) fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins (27-17-6) 4-2 on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.
It was the first game back in ten days for the Lightning, who are coming off the league mandated bye week as well as the All Star Game. The Lightning played well for much of the first period, but the Penguins took advantage of some key opportunities to take control. After Riley Sheahan scored at 3:25 in the first to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead, Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby scored sixteen seconds apart midway through the period to build a 3-0 lead. All told the Penguins got five shots in the first period, three of them went in and Pittsburgh had an impressive lead.
Though the Lightning tried to push back as the game moved to the second period, Kris Letang delivered the dagger at the 6:02 mark of the second to give Pittsburgh a 4-0 lead. Late in the third period, the Lightning finally broke through to ensure the Penguins would not get a shutout win over the league's best team. First J.T. Miller scored at the 15:50 mark, then Steven Stamkos scored at the 17:56 mark, and the Penguins lead had been cut to 4-2. That was as close as Tampa Bay would get, however, and the Lightning suffered a loss in the 50th game of the season.
Matt Murray got the win in net for the Pens, saving 33 of 35 shots and every shot he faced until the game's final five minutes. Andrei Vasilevskiy went 18-for-22 in net for the Bolts to take the loss. The Lightning now head to New York where they will battle the Islanders on Friday night. Puck drop Friday is set for 7:00 PM with pregame coverage beginning at 6:30 on News Radio WFLA .