Andrei Vasilevskiy saved his best for the final seconds.
Kris Letang raised his left fist believing he notched the game-tying goal, but Vasilevskiy got just enough to propel Tampa Bay to a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday.
Here are a few quick observations from Tampa Bay’s 3-2 win against Pittsburgh:
Penguins take one too many penalties
The Lightning are as dangerous as any team in the NHL and the Penguins learned a hard lesson in the final minutes of play on Wednesday.
Having just killed off Zach Aston-Reese’s stick throwing penalty less than a minute earlier, the Penguins were playing with fire and eventually got burned.
The Lightning struggled to establish possession in the offensive zone for the first half of the man-advantage but a slick backhanded-touch pass from Tyler Johnson allowed Tampa to set up.
With multiple options to cover, the Penguins focused on Steven Stamkos at the left circle, which allowed Hedman to hammer a one-timer from the point.
The Lightning have not looked like the well-oiled machine that they were last season, but are showing signs of returning to the powerhouse they are expected to be.
Tanev shows upside
The Penguins signed Brandon Tanev to a six-year contract this offseason with hopes the gritty forward has far more offensive potential than he has shown in the first few years of his NHL career.
The 27-year-old tallied a nifty backhander in the second period of play to even the score at 1-1. After collecting his own rebound, and circling the net, Tanev took advantage of a small opening above the glove of Vasilevskiy.
Depth has become one of the most important ingredients needed to ensure a successful playoff run. While most NHL teams fill these roles with one-year contracts or cheap deadline acquisitions, Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford went a different route this past offseason.
Sidney Crosby picked up his 1,230th NHL point, moving him past Norm Ullman for 40th in NHL history.
Scott Charles is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ScottMCharles.