Recap 11: Lightning Strikes Thrice

The Penguins continued their brief October Florida tour last night with a game in the Bay. Before the season started this game was probably circled as a heavyweight matchup on the calendar. Thanks to 49 injuries for the Penguins and a Tampa team that hasn’t recovered from the Columbus embarrassment both teams have been quieter than expected in the first 10 games of the season.

We aren’t talking about the Penguins penalty kill enough and that is a shame. Despite having to rebuild the forward pairs in the offseason Sullivan then had to deal with losing Bjugstad who he was hoping would contribute a lot of PK minutes. Despite these factors, they have been stellar.

This might come up one night in trivia, you never know.

No surprises or changes in the lineup as the team continues using a defender on the wing because Jim can’t count.

Some veterans were honored, some stuff was said, the puck was dropped. A little back and forth up to the first commercial break but nothing too threatening by either team.

After the timeout, it was more of the same. The Lightning started getting some good looks following a Penguin turnover. Jarry made a pair of stellar saves but eventually, the puck came from the point that was deflected behind Jarry and it was 1-0 Bolts.

Another goal following a turnover, it’s almost like it doesn’t matter who the goaltender is if you put them in situations to fail.

Whatever mojo the Penguins had to start this game, and that could be measured in the single digits, they lost following the tally. The next ten minutes were the Tampa Bay show and somehow the score was still 1-0 by the 5 minute TV timeout.

After the timeout an innocent puck to Jarry turned into a scrum between Gudbranson and Maroon, Maroon dropped his gloves first, Guds landed a punch and somehow that resulted in a roughing penalty to the Penguins. Tampa had some good looks early but the Pens PK was up to the challenge. Sam Lafferty had the best look on the powerplay with a 25-foot shorthanded breakaway that slid off Vaseline. The Pens killed the rest of the powerplay and with less than three minutes left we went back to 5v5.

Another scrum would break out, this time involving pretty much everyone on the ice. Tampa should’ve used some of this passion in the playoffs last year. By the time it was all sorted out the Penguins would get a powerplay as the refs basically just lost count.

The Pens would have possession for the next 90 seconds but missed the goal about 12 times and the period would end 1-0 with the Pens have about half a minute left on the advantage.

The Penguins wouldn’t get anything off the remaining thirty seconds of powerplay time, shortly following the advantage Tampa threw everything at Jarry and he made some huge saves to keep the game within reach.

Not long after this flurry Pettersson and Schultz continued getting carved like a jack-o-lantern as they were split by a pass the sent a man in one-on-one with a steady Jarry.

Five minutes into the period the Penguins finally got a few good looks on goal but Vasilover was ready. Shortly after that Brandon Tanev went to work and put on the razzle, some dazzle, and he made it snazzle.

BRANDON TANEV (2) Assisted by Blueger (2) @ 5:06

Making plays like this, I cannot wait for him to be on Malkin’s left. This goal is so filthy sewer rats showered after watching it.

The Pens continued pushing and the game finally opened up. Both goalies were playing well and turning away multiple chances both ways. It started to look like we would be heading into the third period tied before Crosby sent a puck up the boards to that winger who doesn’t score. Simon out-wills a Tampa defender along the wall and while falling makes a tape to tape pass to Crosby, who looked up and saw his baby boo standing pretty.

JAKE GUENTZEL (6) Assisted by Crosby (10) & Simon (5) @ 19:01

Jake Guentzel is not a direct beneficiary of the Sidney Crosby effect, he is a legit 40 goal scorer. Just watch him in this clip. He starts supporting along the wall behind Simon, but he doesn’t stop moving. Once Simon wins the puck he just silently glides into position and he finishes. Almost every single goal Guentzel scores on a one-timer he gets into position without moving his feet, he just glides like a ghost and everyone misses him.

Neither team would score in the final minute, 2-1 Pens.

Without looking up the stats (can’t call me a fancy stat boy only) I feel like the Penguins have been a pretty solid third period team this year. Attempting to shut down Tampa’s offense while not having your best defenders in the game is a pretty tough task. The first five minutes were fine, but seven minutes into the period the Lightning finally took advantage of the Gudbranson-Johnson pairing.

There isn’t a gif of this goal but here’s what happened. Johnson hit a guy along the half boards and the puck went behind the net. Gudbranson tied that puck up briefly and turned it over. Johnson, returning from his hit along the wall does a direct power plow into a player on the goal line, putting both defenders behind the net.

With the game tied neither team really backed down and we were treated to some pretty good hockey in October. 15 minutes into the period Zach Aston-Reese took a penalty that the team was able to kill. 46 seconds after the conclusion of that powerplay Guentzel was rung up hooking and the Bolts got another chance with 2:05 left. On the penalty kill kris Letang did a lot of moving around to prevent shots, Jack Johnson not so much.

3-2 Bolts.

The Pens would give a late effort and almost scored in the final seconds but it was ruled no-goal and that would do it.



  • I’m not getting worked up until the Penguins play a game with 12 actual forwards
  • Hell of a game by Jarry
  • Overall it’s tough to be disappointed with this effort considering the Lightning had a rest day coming into this game
  • Kris Letang is playing really good hockey right now
  • Tanev and Malkin together may make panties drop

G10 Oct. 22nd @Panthers

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G11 Oct. 23rd @Lightning

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