Tampa, Fla. (CBS) The Tampa Bay Lightning have yet to get a win in 2012, dropping their seventh consecutive game today with a 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Despite being down by three goals, Tampa Bay battled back and scored three by the 6:50 mark to pull even with the Pens. The momentum was short-lived though when Evgeni Malkin broke it open with a hat trick and two assists to get Pittsburgh its second-straight win after losing six consecutive games.
First period woes continued for the Lightning, and it started with a power-play goal from Pittsburgh winger James Neal 2:43 into the first. Richard Park extended Pittsburgh’s lead with an unassisted goal at 10:38 to make it 2-0 through the first intermission.
With Sidney Crosby out with an injury the Penguin offense knew it needed to come out strong offensively, and it did just that. Malkin led the onslaught in the third, but a number of players got in on the action.
Three unlikely goalscorers emerged for the Lightning when they needed it most. Matt Gilroy broke out of his year-long goal drought with a shot passed Marc-Andre Fleury to cut the lead to two.
Panic set in for the Pens when Ryan Malone scored a power-play goal less than three minutes later to make it 3-2. Teddy Purcell scored theequalizer for Tampa Bay to make it 3-3, but Malkin stole the show latemin the third and the Lightning weren’t able to recover.
Mathieu Garon made 38 saves this afternoon, and Fleury stopped 17 of the 20 shots he saw to get the win on the road.
Wins have been hard to come by for Tampa Bay the entire season, but in a highly competitive league the mediocre teams will always fall short.