The Pittsburgh Penguin’s James Neal scored 2 of the Pens first 3 goals, and then the Leagues second leading scorer Evgeni Malkin showed the world why he is one of the best players on the planet. Malkin scored A Natural Hat Trick, his first, to finish off the Lightning and propel the Pens to a 6-3 win in Tampa.
James Neal scored a power play goal near the 3 minute mark of the first period to give the Pens a 1-0 lead. Park scored the second goal of the game, and the Pens went into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead. Neither team scored in the second and then it happened, and explosion of offense from both teams to finish a wild game in Tampa. James Neal scored his second goal of the game on another Power Play opportunity and it looked as if the Penguins were going to cruise to a victory.
Not to be though, Gilroy for the Lightning scored a goal just a minute and a half later to make it a 3-1 game. Pittsburgh’s own Ryan Malone scored his ninth goal of the season just a couple of minutes later to make it a 3-2 game. Then 2 minutes after that, Teddy Purcell put a wrist shot past Fleury to tie things up. The Penguins were able to regain their composure, and Malkin took over.
Malkin scored on a backhand at the 7:53 mark of the 3rd period, less than a minute after the lightning tied things up. Malkin scored again less than 2 minutes after that to make it a 5-3 game. That is the way it stayed until the 19 minute mark when Malkin complete the Natural Hat Trick with an empty netter to finish off the Bolts 6-3. The Penguins completed this game with 2 power play goals and only giving up one themselves. Both of the power play goals were scored by James Neal, who at the 12 minute mark of the 3rd period received a game misconduct penalty after fighting with Kubina.
I posted earlier that we would probably see Roloson in net for the Lightning even though he has been struggling this season. I know he has struggled, but personally I was stunned to see he was not in the game. In the first meeting of the season in November, Roloson had been struggling going into that game, but the Pens were downed 4-1 and Dwayne Roloson rekindled the magic he was able conjure in the playoffs the previous year. It ended up being Garon in Net today though and he struggles only stopping and 38 of the 43 shots he faced. The Penguins out shot the Lightning in this game 44-20.
The Pens are off till Tuesday when they come home to face the Carolina Hurricane at 7:00pm.
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