2016-2017 Season Breakdown: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

In 89 regular season games, the Lightning have a record of 36 wins, 45 regulation losses, 5 ties, and 3 overtime or shootout loses.

Opponent:

Pittsburgh Penguins

Games:

Saturday, December 10, 2016 at Tampa - Tampa Bay 3, Pittsburgh 4

Sunday, January 8, 2017 at Pittsburgh - Tampa Bay 2, Pittsburgh 6

Friday, March 3, 2017 at Pittsburgh - Tampa Bay 2, Pittsburgh 5

Did the Pittsburgh Penguins help or hurt the Tampa Bay Lightning this season?

Clearly, they hurt the Bolts, beating Tampa Bay by a combined scored of 15-7 in front of three sold out crowds. Pittsburgh has not been kind to Tampa Bay since 2008. Excluding the two playoff matchups in that span, here is the record that the Lightning has compiled against the flightless birds in the regular season in terms of raw wins and losses thereby counting regulation, overtime, and shootout loses as one and the same:

2007-08: 1-3   |   2008-09: 1-3   |   2009-10: 2-2   |   2010-11: 2-2   |   2011-12: 1-3

2012-13: 0-3   |   2013-14: 0-3   |   2014-15: 1-2   |   2015-16: 3-0   |   2016-17: 0-3

Total: 11-24 (35 total regular season games since the 2007-08 regular season)

The Lightning’s overall record against Pittsburgh in franchise history is slightly better, although still dismal.

In 89 regular season games, the Lightning have a record of 36 wins, 45 regulation losses, 5 ties, and 3 overtime or shootout loses. A tie in the NHL was removed from the league after the 2003-04 season—the same campaign that saw the Bolts won the Stanley Cup. The aforementioned record results in a .449 points percentage for the Lightning in regular season games against Pittsburgh, which is not too hot.

At the old Mellon Arena, Tampa Bay went 12-16-3-2, earning them a .439 points percentage. However, at the current stadium in Pittsburgh, which at one point was called Consol Energy Center and is now named the PPG Paints Arena, the Bolts have only won one out of their 12 regular season matches there, losing 10 in regulation and another via an overtime loss on March 22, 2014. This 1-10-1 record yields only a .125 points percentage, which is absolutely putrid. Needless to say, the ghosts of 1001 Fifth Avenue in Pittsburgh have certainly haunted the Bolts since its inception in 2010.

Given that Pittsburgh is not in Tampa Bay’s division and the rules of scheduling as stated in the CBA, Tampa Bay will host Pittsburgh twice next season and visit PPG Paints Arena once, playing a total of three games against the Penguins, as has been mandated since the beginning of the 2013-14 season. This is based on an alternating schedule, whereby during one season, the Lightning visits Pittsburgh twice and hosts once and then that cycle switches during the following season.

Trades:

March 1, 2017 - TB sends pending UFA defenseman Mark Streit to Pittsburgh for the Penguins’ 4th round selection in the 2018 Draft.

Thoughts from the other side:

Two of the best (if not THE two best) young goaltenders will lock horns again with Matt Murray and Andrei Vasilevskiy get the starts for their respective teams. Should be a good one, ideally the Lightning don't quite find their footing yet and the Pens can keep their goal-scoring ways going, but with all the talent on the ice, it won't be easy. - Hooks Orpik, pensburgh.com

Best Moments vs. Pittsburgh in Franchise History:

Couldn’t choose one. Here are two.

1. Rallying from a 3-1 series deficit after a James Neal 2OT goal in Game 4 in Tampa. Winning Game 7 in Pittsburgh 1-0 on a Sean Bergenheim goal and then sweeping the Capitals in the 2nd round before losing in Boston in 7 games—the final loss 1-0.

2. Tyler Johnson’s goal that came off his back from a Jason Garrison shot in Game 5 in the 2016 Eastern Conference Final. Oh, and that “phantom” offsides call in Game 6 still drives me nuts. Haven’t gotten over it.

12/10, 7:10 p.m. puck drop

Preview: Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay play for first time since conference final last season. [T]he Penguins have gotten contributions throughout the lineup during their current four-game winning streak. The Lightning are 1-5-1 in their past seven games and have scored two goals in their past three games. Tampa Bay currently is outside of the Stanley Cup Playoffs picture after being a popular preseason pick to win the Stanley Cup. - Corey Long, NHL.com Correspondent

Recap: Pittsburgh (18-7-3), which trailed 3-1 in the second period, won its fifth game in a row. Jonathan Drouin scored twice for the Lightning (14-13-2), who are 1-6-1 in their past eight games. Valtteri Filppula scored, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 33 saves. - Corey Long, NHL.com Correspondent

Records prior to the game:

Tampa Bay: 14-13-2, 30 points   |   Pittsburgh: 18-7-3, 39 points

Goals by Period:

1st: Tampa Bay 1, Pittsburgh 1

2nd: Tampa Bay 2, Pittsburgh 1

3rd: Tampa Bay 0, Pittsburgh 2

Final score: Tampa Bay 3, Pittsburgh 4

Shots on Goal:

Tampa Bay: 23   |   Pittsburgh: 37

Face-offs won:

Tampa Bay: 32   |   Pittsburgh: 36

Highlights of the Game:

Nikita Kucherov fought Trevor Daley. This was Kuch’s second career fight—his first coming in a 4-1 loss in Boston just thirteen days prior on November 27th against Torey Krug.

Drouin had one of the slickest goals you’ll ever see.

And the Lightning blew a 3-1 lead in the final 22:35 of the game, at the hands of three Penguins power play goals.

3 Stars of the Game:

1st: Sidney Crosby   |   2nd: Jonathan Drouin   |   3rd: Evgeni Malkin

Other tidbits:

Nikita Nesterov and Luke Witkowski drew into the lineup, and J.T. Brown was scratched.

1/8, 5:10 pm puck drop

Preview: The previous Eastern Conference Final foes find themselves at quite different points in their seasons. One continues to vie for another title. One stumbles its way night after night struggling to amass wins. - @Bethelhub

Recap: Tampa Bay (19-19-4) has lost four in a row to start January after winning two of its final three December games. The Lightning have allowed 22 goals during the losing streak. - Wes Crosby, NHL.com Correspondent

Records prior to the game:

Tampa Bay: 19-19-4, 42 points   |   Pittsburgh: 26-8-5, 57 points

Goals by Period:

1st: Tampa Bay 0, Pittsburgh 0

2nd: Tampa Bay 1, Pittsburgh 2

3rd: Tampa Bay 1, Pittsburgh 4

Final score: Tampa Bay 2, Pittsburgh 6

Shots on Goal:

Tampa Bay: 30   |   Pittsburgh: 40

Face-offs won:

Tampa Bay: 31   |   Pittsburgh: 29

Highlights of the Game:

The Lightning scored the game’s first goal before giving up four unanswered to trail 4-1, before falling 6-2.

Fleury played this game, instead of Matt Murray, and stopped 28 of 30 pucks thrown his way.

3 Stars of the Game:

1. Chris Kunitz   |   2. Matt Cullen   |   3. Eric Fehr

Other tidbits:

Slater Koekkoek and Luke Witkowski played. Nikita Nesterov was scratched. Braydon Coburn had an upper-body injury and did not play.

3/3, 7:10 pm puck drop

Preview: In what is likely to be an emotional evening, the Pittsburgh Penguins and their newly acquired defender Mark Streit will face Streit’s former team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, for the first time since Streit was traded. A storied and accomplished fixture in Lightning lore, Streit is already sorely missed in Tampa. - @Loserpoints

Recap: The veteran defenseman wasted little time making an impression with the Penguins, scoring the go-ahead goal in the third period as Pittsburgh pulled away from the Lightning 5-2 on Friday night. - CBS Sports

Records prior to the game:

Tampa Bay: 29-26-8, 66 points   |   Pittsburgh: 39-16-8, 86 points

Goals by Period:

1st: Tampa Bay 0, Pittsburgh 0

2nd: Tampa Bay 1, Pittsburgh 2

3rd: Tampa Bay 1, Pittsburgh 3

Final score: Tampa Bay 2, Pittsburgh 5

Shots on Goal:

Tampa Bay: 29   |   Pittsburgh: 35

Face-offs won:

Tampa Bay: 22   |   Pittsburgh: 32

Highlights of the Game:

Adam Erne scored his first career NHL goal.

Peter Budaj started his first game as a member of the Lightning.

Tampa Bay again scored the first goal, let Pittsburgh back into the game and then found themselves trailing 2-1. The Bolts tied it at 2-2 and then allowed three unanswered to fall 5-2.

3 Stars of the Game:

1. Evgeni Malkin   |   2. Mark Streit   |   3. Justin Schultz

Other tidbits:

Luke Witkowski was a healthy scratch.

Stats Leaders for Tampa Bay:

Goals: Jonathan Drouin (3)

Assists: Jonathan Drouin, Victor Hedman, Vladislav Namestnikov (2)

Goals Against: Peter Budaj, 4.12 & Andrei Vasilevskiy, 5.10

Save Percentage: Peter Budaj, .882% & Andrei Vasilevskiy, .870%

Important Numbers from the Season Series:

Goals by Period

1st: Tampa Bay 1, Pittsburgh 1

2nd: Tampa Bay 4, Pittsburgh 5

3rd: Tampa Bay 2, Pittsburgh 9

Total: Tampa Bay 7, Pittsburgh 15