Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay

Lightning 5, Penguins 3


TAMPA, Fla. -- Martin St. Louis made sure Dan Ellis' stellar relief performance wasn't wasted.

St. Louis scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third and added a late empty-netter, Ellis stopped all 24 shot he faced and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 on Wednesday.

Ellis took over after Tampa Bay starter Mike Smith was pulled at 12:15 of the first period after allowing three goals on seven shots

"You throw him in there and he gives you a chance to get back in it," St. Louis said. "That's great."

The speedy St. Louis blew past Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy and lifted a shot over goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to put Tampa Bay up 4-3 with 13:20 to play, then made it a two-goal game with Fleury on the bench for an extra skater with 30.8 seconds remaining.

"I think our team really turned it around," Ellis said.

Dana Tyrell, Teddy Purcell and Vincent Lecavalier also scored for the Lightning. Tampa Bay, which has missed the playoffs the past three seasons, improved to 6-2-1 under new coach Guy Boucher.

"I think we know what we have character-wise," St. Louis said. "We never feel like we're out if it."

Pittsburgh got goals from Craig Adams, Matt Cooke and Pascal Dupuis. The Penguins have lost two in a row, including a 1-0 overtime loss at St. Louis on Saturday night, after a four-game winning streak.

"There's not much to say ... we got beat," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "Gave up too many opportunities and didn't execute on the one's we got. We didn't deserve that one, definitely."

Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos, who shared the NHL goal-scoring title (51) last season with Crosby, had three assists. Crosby, held to two goals in his last 12 games against the Lightning, had an assist.

After Tyrell scored his first NHL goal at 2:51 of the first, Pittsburgh scored the next three goals, including two while short-handed by Adams (3:28) and Cooke (4:29). Adams, who assisted on the Pittsburgh's other two first-period goals, stopped a personal 118-game goal drought, dating to Dec. 16, 2008, against Edmonton.

Dupuis made it 3-1 at 12:15 of the first, with the goal coming 11 seconds after Pittsburgh killed off a short-handed situation. Purcell got Tampa Bay to 3-2 with 3:20 left in the first.

The Lightning tied it 3 on Lecavalier's goal during a 5-on-3 power play at 8:43 of the second. Tampa Bay had several short-handed chances later in the period, including Nate Thompson hitting the crossbar on a breakaway and Fleury stopping Sean Bergenheim on a penalty shot.

"We didn't like our focus and staying on the plan," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said.

The teams combined for just 14 goals -- seven by both -- in four games last season.


Chicago Blackhawks senior adviser Scotty Bowman, wearing his new 2010 Stanley Cup championship ring, scouted the game. Bowman won one of his nine Stanley Cups as a coach with the Penguins in 1992. ... Pittsburgh RW Arron Asham (left shoulder) and Tampa Bay D Mattias Ohlund (right knee) both played in their first game of the season. ... The Lightning were without LW Simon Gagne (stiff neck), C Dominic Moore (groin) and D Matt Smaby (illness). ... Peguins RW Eric Godard was ill and didn't play.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Pittsburgh (5-4-1)3003
Tampa Bay  (6-2-1) «2125
Three Stars
M. St. Louis

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
D. Ellis

Saves: 24
Save Pct.: 1.000
N. Thompson

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
02:51 - Dana Tyrell (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Thompson, Kubina
03:28Short - Craig Adams (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Cooke, Orpik
04:29Short - Matt Cooke (2), Backhand Shot. Assist: Letang, Adams
12:15 - Pascal Dupuis (2), Backhand Shot. Assist: Adams, Crosby
16:40 - Teddy Purcell (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Kubina, Ritola
08:43Power Play - Vincent Lecavalier (3), Snap Shot. Assist: St. Louis, Stamkos
06:40 - Martin St. Louis (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Downie, Stamkos
19:29 - Martin St. Louis (5), Empty Net. Assist: Stamkos
Penalty Summary
03:18Dupuis, 2 min, Holding
10:04Adams, 2 min, Tripping
14:05Lovejoy, 2 min, Roughing
14:05Lovejoy, 10 min, Misconduct
14:05Downie, 2 min, Roughing
14:05Downie, 10 min, Misconduct
14:05Bergenheim, 2 min, Interference
01:08Comrie, 2 min, Tripping
07:40Dupuis, 2 min, Interference
08:18Kunitz, 2 min, High-Sticking
10:52Stamkos, 2 min, Tripping
13:16Vernace, 2 min, Roughing
15:12Goligoski, 2 min, Interference
19:03Purcell, 2 min, Tripping
01:20Kunitz, 2 min, Slashing
08:34Hall, 2 min, Interference
Shots On Goal
Marc-Andre Fleury58:57264
Dan Ellis47:43240
Mike Smith12:1543
Game Information
Attendance - 17226
Referees - Dan O'Rourke, Brian Pochmara
Linesmen - Pierre Racicot, Steve Miller
Other Games
Atl 6 Final
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Car 0
NYI 3 Final
Mon 5
LA 1 Final
Chi 3
NJ 2 Final
SJ 5