Game 26: Tama Bay Lightning versus Pittsburgh Penguins

The Lightning come up on the wrong end of a defensive struggle, getting shut out by Pittsburgh 3-0, ending a seven-game home winning streak and continuing two years of woes against the Penguins.

The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-0 in front of 19,605 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum Friday afternoon.

Well, there simply isn't much to say about this one: the final score is a little misleading in terms of how tightly competitive this game was as the Lightning and the Penguins engaged in a defensive battle. Pittsburgh capitalized on the few opportunities they had while Tampa Bay did not.

Pittsburgh got the only goal in the first period, which would turn out to be the game winner, with Chris Kunitz scoring at 6:53 on assists from Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang.

The Lightning got more opportunities to generate offense in the second period but were unable to convert and the 1-0 Penguins lead held up into the second intermission.

At 8:27 of the third, the Penguins' Brandon Sutter scored a power play goal that only went in because it deflected off of Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman. Crosby and Jussi Jokinen were credited with assists.

The Penguins capped the scoring with an empty netter at 18:17, scored by Kunitz and assisted by Evgeni Malkin and Crosby. Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury picked up the shutout win, stopping all 21 shots he faced. His counterpart, Ben Bishop, held off 26 of 29 shots.

The Lightning will be in action again on Tuesday, December 3rd, when they travel to Columbus to face the Blue Jackets.

Game notes:

  • The Lightning haven't beaten Pittsburgh since November 17, 2011, a streak of eight games.
  • Pittsburgh came into tonight's game with a winning percentage of .929 when scoring first, second best in the NHL. The Lightning were ranked third with a .923 mark.
  • Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh will meet for the third and final time this season on March 22 in Pittsburgh.
  • The Lightning honored Fran Powers as the 13th Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight's game. Powers, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the Powerstories Theater. In 1998, Powers was riding her bike across the United States when she asked herself ‘Why was she here on earth?" After asking herself that question, she realized that she wanted to help girls who were severely lacking in confidence, as well as adults, and give them a boost through story telling. Her vision was to create an outlet for those whose true stories would otherwise go untold, and change lives in the process. Powers opened Powerstories Theater to provide that platform for relief for women who have struggles in their daily lives. Through her productions, Powers positively affects the lives of thousands of middle school girls and women, especially those who lack self-esteem and communication skills. The theater she opened provides women an avenue for their voices to be heard through story-telling. The performers and audiences both receive a powerful gift - that they are all living a unique and valuable life.