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.