Niskanen scores late as Penguins deny Lightning

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Updated: October 13, 2013

Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) – Matt Niskanen’s power-play goal with just 18.6
seconds left gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay
Lightning on Saturday.

Skating on the advantage after Richard Panik was whistled for tripping,
Pittsburgh set up in the Tampa end and Evgeni Malkin held the puck at the
right circle. Malkin sent a saucer pass through a seam to the left point where
Niskanen one-timed it past Lindback for the advantage.

“We had to battle through some sloppy play but we did a good job battling back
all night,” Niskanen said. “We got lucky with them taking a silly penalty late
in the game and we scored.”

Tampa was unable to muster any chances as the Penguins won for a fourth
time in five games to start the season.

Sidney Crosby had his eighth career hat trick along with an assist, while
Brooks Orpik scored for Pittsburgh, which got just 14 stops from Marc-Andre
Fleury.

Teddy Purcell, Alex Killorn, Valtteri Filppula and Steven Stamkos all scored
for the Lightning, who had a three-game win streak snapped. Anders Lindback
gave up all five goals on 26 shots in the loss.

“I think that was an even hockey game,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “They
got that last break at the end and capitalized on it.”

Trailing by a goal entering the third, the Penguins tied the game on Crosby’s
second of the game as a left point shot by Rob Scuderi was tipped in by Crosby
at the right side just 25 seconds in.

Skating on the power play, the Pens saw Malkin use a touch pass from the right
boards to get the puck to Jussi Jokinen, who tapped it back from the right
circle to Crosby for a wrister and a 4-3 lead with 9:34 to play.

Tampa, though, tied the game again on the power play as Killorn’s one-timer
from the low left side off a hard pass from Panik found the back of the net
with 3:02 left.

The only goal of the first period went to Tampa Bay as a left circle faceoff
win in the Pittsburgh end saw the team work crisp passing to get the puck to
Filppula, who beat Fleury with a one-timer at 13:25.

Pittsburgh tied the game 2:14 into the second quarter as Jokinen’s one-timer
from the left circle was stopped, but Crosby was on the doorstep to bang in
the rebound.

The Lightning answered three minutes later. Victor Hedman brought the puck
into the right point and left a drop pass for Stamkos, who passed the puck
over to the left where Martin St. Louis sent it back to Stamkos for a shot
past Fleury for a 2-1 lead.

Just two minutes later, though, Pittsburgh got a goal from Orpik, but the
Lightning took a 3-2 lead into the final period on Purcell’s power-play goal
at 15:42.

Game Notes

Pittsburgh hosts Edmonton on Tuesday … Tampa hosts Los Angeles on Tuesday
… Pittsburgh won all three matchups with Tampa last season and has now won
seven in a row … Pittsburgh was 3-for-5 on the power play, while Tampa was
2-for-5.