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Fun fact of the night: Tampa Bay Lightning gives up fastest goal to open a game



The goal Penguins wing Evgeni Malkin scored seven seconds into Wednesday night's game was the fastest allowed by the Tampa Bay Lightning to open a game. The previous mark was 12 seconds when Chris Higgins scored on March 4, 2006, for the Canadiens.

Malkin's goal was a gift. Tampa Bay's Vinny Lecavalier actually won the opening faceoff. Sean Bergenheim tried to steer the puck back toward defenseman Mike Lundin but put it right on the stick of Malkin who was off on a breakaway. Goaltender Dwayne Roloson got his foot on the puck but not enough as it went right back to Malkin, whose sharp-angle shot went in off the shaft of Roloson's stick.

That was just the beginning for a Tampa Bay team that clearly was not ready to play.

Chris Conner made it 2-0 at 2:23, when Ben Lovejoy's shot from the point deflected in off Conner's skate. Tyler Kennedy made it 3-0 at 7:17 on a bad goal through Roloson, though it might have been nice if either Lightning defensemen Pavel Kubina or Victor Hedman or wing Ryan Malone challenged Kennedy instead of backing away and letting him skate through the offensive zone without worry.

That was all for Roloson, though it didn't matter as Dan Ellis allowed a goal on the first shot he faced. Chris Kunitz scored at 7:42 on a wrister from the left faceoff circle that hit the top right corner. And while there is no excuse for the Lightning on this day, there also is no excuse for referee Don VanMassenhoven, from the blue line, for calling a cheap-o holding penalty on Kubina when the play was behind the goal line.

Of course, Kunitz scored on a deflection to end the period 5-0.

And just to keep the fun going, Roloson is back in net to start the second period.

[Last modified: Friday, February 4, 2011 12:15am]


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