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Penguins pull away in third to beat Lightning 5-2

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Mark Streit, who was a member of the Lightning on paper for a few hours Wednesday, haunts his (technically) former teammates by scoring the winning goal for the Penguins in their 5-2 win in Pittsburgh Friday night.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins
Penguins defenseman Mark Streit (32) celebrates what would turn out to be the winning goal, his first with Pittsburgh, in the Penguins 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Friday night.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 in Pittsburgh Friday night.

A still mathematically-playoff eligible Lightning team followed up a pretty terrible outing that somehow resulted in a win over the Carolina Hurricanes with an effort about 13 better that yielded a more deserved outcome against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“I don’t think we were skating, getting pucks deep (in the second period) like we were in the first. I thought in the first period we were getting pucks deep, creating offense that way. But in the second we stopped trying to get it in deep and turned it over in the neutral zone. A team like that with speed and skill will make you pay.” - Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin

“We just turned it over. Turnovers can kill, against teams like Pittsburgh. That’s what killed us. It just swung the momentum.” - Lightning head coach Jon Cooper

The first period produced no score for either squad. Adam Erne broke the seal with the first goal of his NHL career, scoring at 6:18 of the second, thanks to helpers from Vladislav Namestnikov and Cedric Paquette.

Evgeni Malkin, skating in his 700th NHL game, tied things up with a power play goal at 8:39 with assists coming from Phil Kessel and Justin Schultz.

Malkin struck again at 16:49, this time getting assistance from Kessel and Ian Cole, giving the Penguins a 2-1 lead after two periods.

Nikita Kucherov would tie the game again at 1:10 of the third, with assists coming from Drouin and Victor Hedman.

Just over a minute and a half later, Mark Streit, playing in his first game for the Penguins after being traded from the Lightning just minutes after being acquired from Philadelphia, scored what would be the eventual game winner at 2:38. Sidney Crosby and Malkin were credited with assists on the play.

Schultz would double the Penguins lead to 4-2 on a power play goal from Crosby and Streit at 16:37.

Tom Kuhnhackl would add an empty net goal at the 19:00 mark, with Nick Bonino getting the lone assist on the play.

Newly acquired Peter Budaj made his first start in net for the Lightning, stopping 30 of 34 shots he faced.

With the loss, the Lightning finish 0-3 against Pittsburgh this season, the first time being swept by the Penguins since 2013-14.

They’ll be in action again tomorrow in Buffalo against the Sabres.