The Penguins might not need the points much anymore, but they will gladly take the morale boost that comes with earning a hard fought 4-3 overtime victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
This was a game where the superstars did the heavy lifting for the Penguins. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and James Neal each found the back of the net during power-play opportunities. Malkin also scored the team’s only five-on-five goal at 16:43 of the third period to give the Penguins a 3-2 lead.
It looked like that might be the end of it, but Lightning forward Ondrej Palat skated through four Pittsburgh players to counter with just 1:22 remaining in regulation time to at least let the Lightning finish the game with a point.
The Lightning might have gotten more than that, but they were charged with having too many man on the ice in overtime. The penalty didn’t sit well with Tampa Bay as the call corresponded closely with the play being called dead due to an offside.
Regardless, the Lightning’s five-game winning streak is now over. They have a three-point edge on Montreal in the fight for the second seed in the Atlantic Division ahead of the Canadiens’ contest against Toronto tonight.
The Penguins seem destined to win the Metropolitan Division and finish second in the Eastern Conference, but this was still an important win for them after dropping three of their previous four contests.
Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.
Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.
During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.
It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.
As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.
Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.
James Wisniewski‘s time as a Carolina Hurricane is off to a troubling start.
Wisniewski, acquired by the ‘Canes at this year’s draft, exited Thursday’s season-opener against Nashville early in the first period with a lower-body injury.
Shortly thereafter, the team ruled out his return.
Wisniewski, 31, was expected to play a fairly significant role on Carolina’s defense this year.
It’s unclear what the injury is or how severe it might be, but initial reports don’t sound good; Wisniewski appeared to be in significant pain and had to be helped off the ice.