Michael Bunting finds the net in the third period to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4

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Pittsburgh Penguins vs Tampa Bay Lightning (Credits: Yard Breaker)

Michael Bunting broke the tie with 5:28 left in the third period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4 on Saturday.

Referee Steve Kozari was taken off the ice on a stretcher after colliding with Lightning defenseman Haydn Fleury 6:11 into the third period. Kozari was able to move his arms, but Fleury did not return.

Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said, “That was tough to watch. But (Fleury), I went into the locker room during that pause. Naturally, he was a little shaken up. It was just one of those plays that was kind of a freak accident. But hopefully, both guys will be OK.”

Evgeni Malkin contributed two goals and an assist for Pittsburgh, and Bunting also had two assists. Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang also scored. Penguins goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic made 30 saves in his eighth straight start.

Pittsburgh (36-30-11) secured its fourth consecutive win and extended its unbeaten streak to 6-0-2 in the last eight games. The team is battling with Philadelphia, Washington, and Detroit for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. The Lightning (43-27-7), who secured a playoff berth Friday, had won 10 of their last 12 games.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Steven Stamkos scored twice for Tampa Bay, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 23 stops. Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman each had three assists. Bunting netted his 18th goal on a backhand from just outside the slot. He was acquired in a March trade with Carolina.

Tampa Bay trailed 4-1 before mounting a comeback in the third period. Nicholas Paul scored his 23rd goal 25 seconds into the period. Anthony Duclair narrowed the deficit to 4-3 at 7:23, and Stamkos tied it 4-4 with his second one-timer on a power play at 10:45.

Stamkos remarked, “A case of too little, too late.” Crosby put the Penguins in front with his 40th goal of the season 4:20 into the first period, capitalizing on a 2-on-1 opportunity. Malkin’s 24th goal made it 2-0 at 6:06 of the second period. After Stamkos scored for the Lightning, Letang and Malkin extended Pittsburgh’s lead to 4-1.

The Lightning dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen, with forward Anthony Cirelli sidelined due to an undisclosed injury sustained in Thursday’s game against Montreal.


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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