Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay

Stamkos, Kucherov lead Lightning past Penguins, 7-1

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STATS/AP

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov are making it look easy and the Tampa Bay Lightning are reaping the benefits.

The Tampa Bay stars both extended their season-opening points streaks to nine games and the Lightning routed the two-time Stanley Cup Pittsburgh Penguins 7-1 on Saturday night.

''Just proud of the way we played throughout the whole game,'' Stamkos said. ''Sometimes those are tough games to play but we played the right way.''

Stamkos had a goal and three assists, and Kucherov had two goals and an assist. They are the first teammates to start the season with nine-game streaks since St. Louis' Pavol Demitra and Doug Weight in 2001-02.

The duo have combined for 34 points.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, coming off a 43-save blanking of Columbus on Thursday night, lost his bid for second straight shutout bid on Jake Guentzel's goal with 1:42 to play. Vasilevskiy finished with 28 saves.

Yanni Gourde, Brayden Point, Anton Stralman and Mikhail Sergachev also scored to help the Lightning improve to 7-1-1.

Penguins star Sidney Crosby received both minor and misconduct penalties during the opening 1:36 of the game. Backup goalie Antti Niemi, 0-3 in three starts, stopped 25 shots.

''Obviously, I don't want to take a penalty on the first shift out there,'' Crosby said. ''They score on the power play. It's not the why you want to start. That's on me.''

Pittsburgh is 5-2 over its last seven games, with both losses against Tampa Bay.

With Crosby off for cross-checking, Kucherov scored at 1:36 of the first. Kucherov got his 10th goal in Tampa Bay's three-goal second.

After leaving the penalty box following Kucherov's first goal, Crosby was given a 10-minute misconduct after arguing with referee Garrett Rank.

Stamkos made it 2-0 with a man-advantage goal with 5:44 left in the first. It was his 113th power-play goal, which broke a tie with Vincent Lecavalier (112) for most in Tampa Bay history.

After Vasilevskiy had a stellar save on Carl Hagelin, Tampa Bay took a 3-0 lead on Gourde's backhand with two-tenths of second remaining in the first.

''Three-nothing, 2-1, I think that was a big part of the game,'' Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

Niemi made an in-close save on Gourde during a short-handed 2-on-none 5 in minutes into the game. Niemi also lost 5-4 at Tampa Bay Oct. 12.

Crosb

NOTES: The Penguins acquired F Riley Sheahan and a 2018 fifth-round draft pick from Detroit for F Scott Wilson and a 2018 third-round draft pick. ... The Penguins are 0-3 in the second game of back-to-back games, all started by Niemi. ''I think we put ourselves in some bad spots,'' Crosby said. ''We've got a lot of cracks at them, so we've to find a way to do better.'' Pittsburgh, with an NHL-high 19 back-to-back games, beat Florida 4-3 on Friday night. ... Penguins RW Carter Rowney left early in the first after blocking a shot and didn't return.

UP NEXT

Penguins: Host Edmonton on Tuesday night.

Lightning: At Carolina on Tuesday night.

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Scoreboard
Pittsburgh (5-3-1)0011
Tampa Bay  (7-1-1) «3317
Three Stars
S. Stamkos
TB


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 3
A. Vasilevskiy
TB


Saves: 28
Save Pct.: .966
N. Kucherov
TB


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
01:36Power Play - Nikita Kucherov (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: Hedman, Stamkos
14:16Power Play - Steven Stamkos (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Namestnikov, Kucherov
19:59 - Yanni Gourde (2), Backhand Shot. Assist: Coburn, Point
2ND PERIOD
30.0 - Brayden Point (5), Wrist Shot. Assist: Palat, Gourde
05:58 - Anton Stralman (2), Snap Shot. Assist: Sergachev
07:12 - Nikita Kucherov (12), Wrist Shot. Assist: Stamkos, Killorn
3RD PERIOD
10:32Power Play - Mikhail Sergachev (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Stamkos, Namestnikov
18:18Power Play - Jake Guentzel (4), Tip-In. Assist: Rust, Letang
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
57.0Crosby, 2 min, Cross Checking
01:36Crosby, 10 min, Misconduct
04:11Palat, 2 min, Boarding
13:23Letang, 2 min, Slashing
2ND PERIOD
01:26McKegg, 2 min, Hooking
12:44Coburn, 2 min, Hooking
13:27Kessel, 2 min, Slashing
3RD PERIOD
09:07Hornqvist, 2 min, Cross Checking
11:27Callahan, 2 min, Slashing
16:36Gourde, 2 min, Closing Hand on the Puck
19:37Dotchin, 2 min, Cross Checking
19:37Reaves, 2 min, Cross Checking
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PIT7121029
TB1316332
 
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