Advertisement
  1. Lightning

Tyler Johnson's hat trick key as Lightning finally beats Penguins

Lightning left wing Brenden Morrow, left, fights right wing Bobby Farnham in the second period.
Lightning left wing Brenden Morrow, left, fights right wing Bobby Farnham in the second period.
Published Dec. 24, 2014

TAMPA — The Lightning bailed itself out of its offensive rut Tuesday night thanks to a speedy forward still recovering from the flu.

Tyler Johnson scored his second career hat trick to give the Lightning a 4-3 win over the Penguins in front of a sold-out crowd of 19,204 at Amalie Arena.

"Happy holidays, right?" Johnson said.

The three-day Christmas break will certainly be happier thanks to Johnson and his line, which was responsible for all four goals to help the Lightning (21-11-4) earn its third win in the past nine games and snap a 10-game losing streak to the Penguins.

Johnson's first goal came 6:54 into the first period when his shot hit goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury's pad and went into the net for his fifth goal in his past 13 games. He added another with 3.4 seconds left in the first when his blast from just outside the left circle squeaked past Fleury's right shoulder.

"It was a heck of a shot," coach Jon Cooper said.

Linemate Nikita Kucherov added his 14th goal of the season 52 seconds into the second period. Matt Carle fired a long pass to Kucherov, who put the puck past Fleury to end the goalie's night and give him his second regulation loss in his past 15 games. Kucherov added two assists, and Ondrej Palat finished with a career-high three assists.

Johnson scored his 13th goal of the season and completed his first hat trick since Jan. 25 less than two minutes later.

The Lightning took advantage of a depleted Pittsburgh roster that had 12 players out with illness or injury and was playing its second game in as many nights. When Fleury left the game in the second period, the Penguins dropped to their third-string goalie, Jeff Zatkoff, who was playing in his first game of the season.

Tampa Bay was short-handed, too, with starting goalie Ben Bishop still out with a lower-body injury. Rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy made his third career start and finished with 26 saves, including one on a Sidney Crosby breakaway in the third.

"That was Crosby?" Vasilevskiy said. "Cool."

The Eastern Conference-leading Penguins made it interesting late with two third-period goals — one on a breakaway by Chris Kunitz and another on a six-on-five shot by defenseman Kris Letang with 1:31 left.

But the Lightning hung on to secure its first win over the Penguins since November 2011.

"It's one of the only teams I haven't beaten," Johnson said. "Still some others out there, but we're coming for them."

Lightning2204
Penguins0123

First Period1, Tampa Bay, Johnson 11 (Kucherov, Palat), 6:54. 2, Tampa Bay, Johnson 12 (Palat, Hedman), 19:56. PenaltiesDumoulin, Pit (tripping), 10:57; Connolly, TB (interference), 11:15; Hornqvist, Pit (roughing), 16:06.

Second Period3, Tampa Bay, Kucherov 14 (Carle, Filppula), :52. 4, Tampa Bay, Johnson 13 (Kucherov, Palat), 2:37. 5, Pittsburgh, Hornqvist 13 (Klinkhammer), 10:15. PenaltiesFarnham, Pit, major (fighting), :53; Morrow, TB, major (fighting), :53; Johnson, TB (interference), 20:00.

Third Period6, Pittsburgh, Kunitz 10 (Malkin), 9:55. 7, Pittsburgh, Letang 8 (Hornqvist, Malkin), 18:29. PenaltiesHornqvist, Pit (tripping), :31; Kunitz, Pit (tripping), 7:46. Shots on GoalPittsburgh 7-12-10—29. Tampa Bay 8-12-7—27. Power-play opportunitiesPittsburgh 0 of 2; Tampa Bay 0 of 4. GoaliesPittsburgh, Fleury (10 shots-7 saves), Zatkoff 0-1-0 (0:52 second, 17-16). Tampa Bay, Vasilevskiy 2-1-0 (29-26). A19,204 (19,204). T2:28. Referees—Kyle Rehman, Francois St. Laurent. LinesmenShandor Alphonso, Pierre Racicot.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  2. New Lightning center Barclay Goodrow (19) on the ice with his team during warmups before taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs at Amalie Arena on Tuesday. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  3. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Zach Bogosian (24)battles Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Zach Hyman (11) to control the puck during second period action at Amalie Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020 in Tampa. 

 [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  4. Former Tampa Bay Lightning CEO Tod Leiweke.
  5. Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) looks on as the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate their goal to go up 3-2 during second period action at Amalie Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020 in Tampa.  [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  6. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak (81) in the third period overtime of an NHL hockey game Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, in Denver. The Lightning won 4-3 in overtime. [DAVID ZALUBOWSKI  |  AP]
  7. Tampa Bay Lightning center Blake Coleman (20) passes the puck past Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (23) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. The Coyotes defeated the Lightning 7-3. [ROSS D. FRANKLIN  |  AP]
  8. San Jose Sharks right wing Barclay Goodrow (23) controls the puck ahead of New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, at Madison Square Garden in New York. [MARY ALTAFFER  |  AP]
  9. Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik  [Times staff]
  10. The Lightning traded for Blake Coleman, right, eight days before the trade deadline. [ROSS D. FRANKLIN  |  AP]
  11. The Lightning signed defenseman Zach Bogosian, whose contract was terminated by Buffalo earlier this week. [MARK ZALESKI  |  AP]
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement