PITTSBURGH — Three goals. Ninety-one seconds. Brayden Point scored the sixth-fastest hat trick in NHL history Thursday night.
It was the second-fastest of the expansion era and the second-fastest on the road, the NHL said.
"I've never experienced that," C Steven Stamkos said after it keyed a 4-3 win over the Penguins at PPG Paints Arena. "I thought that'd be the quickest hat trick."
Point's goals, scored at the end of the first period and in the first 1:28 of the second, put the Lightning on the board and then gave it the lead.
The first goal, scored with three seconds left in the first, was a big one to keep the Lightning in the game. Tampa Bay had given up the first goal for the ninth time in 10 games, on a power play, and then allowed another power-play goal to go down 2-0. There's a big difference between going into the dressing room down 2-0 and 2-1 at intermission.
"We needed to get at least one," Stamkos said. "It's a huge momentum swing."
Less than a minute and a half into the second, after two more Point goals, it was a different game.
All three goals were the product of the power play clicking. In the last minute of the first period, the Penguins took two penalties on one Lightning possession and then another 20 seconds later. Point scored on each of the three power plays, twice on 5-on-3s.
"Sometimes on a 5-on-3 you get too cute passing," Point said. "We did a good job putting the puck on net."
Overall, the Lightning was 4-of-6 on the power play, with C Yanni Gourde scoring the winner on one in the second after Pittsburgh tied the score at 3 with the only goal of the game that didn't come on a power play. Pittsburgh was 2-of-4.
"The boys this year have really made an effort to make sure they shoot and they make their plays on scrambles and rebounds. It's been fun to watch," coach Jon Cooper said.
Catching a break
The Lightning is dealing with a major injury with G Andrei Vasilevskiy out indefinitely, but it isn't the only team in that spot. On this trip, Tampa Bay faces a couple of teams also missing impact players.
The Penguins were without C Sidney Crosby on Thursday. The two-time Hart Trophy winner is out with an upper-body injury. He did skate after the team Thursday morning. RW Ryan Callahan said it was good for the Lightning that Crosby was out but that there is enough skill on the Penguins that it didn't make the game easy.
The Lightning ends the trip in Nashville on Monday. The Predators will be without D P.K. Subban. He was put on injured reserve Thursday with an upper-body injury. That means he will miss at least three games, Monday's being the third.
First Period—1, Pittsburgh, Hornqvist 6 (Kessel, Letang), 10:33 (pp). 2, Pittsburgh, Kessel 9 (Hornqvist, Malkin), 13:49 (pp). 3, Tampa Bay, Point 10 (Kucherov, T.Johnson), 19:57 (pp). Penalties—Kucherov, TB, (tripping), 7:04 Stamkos, TB, (hooking), 9:25 Oleksiak, PIT, (roughing), 11:56 Paquette, TB, (roughing), 11:56 Tampa Bay bench, served by Sergachev (delay of game), 12:05 Letang, PIT, (high sticking), 13:11 Callahan, TB, (high sticking), 13:11 Malkin, PIT, (tripping), 19:37 Kessel, PIT, (slashing), 19:37 Cullen, PIT, (tripping), 19:47.
Second Period—4, Tampa Bay, Point 11 (Kucherov, Stamkos), 0:41 (pp). 5, Tampa Bay, Point 12 (Kucherov, Miller), 1:28 (pp). 6, Pittsburgh, Hornqvist 7 (Malkin), 4:29. 7, Tampa Bay, Gourde 8 (Killorn, Sergachev), 7:56 (pp). Penalties—Wilson, PIT, (interference), 6:27 Malkin, PIT, (slashing), 11:18 Joseph, TB, (high sticking), 14:33 Oleksiak, PIT, (boarding), 16:52.
Third Period—None. Penalties—Letang, PIT, (slashing), 19:53.
Shots on Goal—Tampa Bay 7-12-7_26. Pittsburgh 14-8-9_31.
Power-play opportunities—Tampa Bay 4 of 7 Pittsburgh 2 of 4.
Goalies—Tampa Bay, Domingue 4-2-0 (31 shots-28 saves). Pittsburgh, Murray 4-5-1 (26-22).
A—18,422 (18,387). T—2:30.
Referees—Garrett Rank, Furman South. Linesmen—Kory Nagy, Tony Sericolo.