Crosby, Kessel help Penguins beat Lightning 4-2 in Game 3

Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (88), of Russia, defends the goal during the first period of Game 3. AP Photo

TAMPA, Fla. – Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Chris Kunitz scored third-period goals, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night.

Carl Hagelin snapped a scoreless tie late in the second period and Matt Murray had 26 saves for the Penguins, who took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Game 4 is Friday night at Amalie Arena.

Crosby’s power-play goal restored a two-goal lead midway through the final period. Kunitz also beat goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy from the right circle to make it 4-1.

Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat scored for the Lightning. They have lost two straight after winning the series opener in Pittsburgh. The defending Eastern Conference champions were outshot 48-28, including 38-16 over the last two periods.


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Third period:

10:54 p.m. The Penguins down the Lightning 4-2. Pittsburgh leads the series 2-1, retaking home ice advantage. Game 4 is Friday at 8 p.m.

10:49 p.m. The Lightning get one back. The Bolts trail the Penguins 4-2.

10:38 p.m. Malkin feeds Kunitz but Vasilevskiy stops it. However, Kunitz buries his own rebound. It’s 4-1 Pittsburgh.

10:33 p.m. A bullet of a one-timer by Crosby gives Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead.

10:31 p.m. The Bolts get a penalty; Coburn is headed off. Pittsburgh starts a 4-on-3 power play.

10:28 p.m. Kucherov has a solid chance; Murray gets kneed in the head by Johnson. He’s up and appears fine.

10:26 p.m. Crosby gets another chance. He has been everywhere this period.

A fan shouts during the second period of Game 3. AP Photo
A fan shouts during the second period of Game 3. AP Photo

10:19 p.m. The Lightning get it right back. Kucherov drops a pass to Johnson, who somehow finds a hole under Murray’s blocker.

10:17 p.m. Bonino finds Kessel’s tape, making it 2-0 Pittsburgh.

10:16 p.m. The Boyle line looks like it has spark this period. Brown gets an A+ chance on the doorstep, but Murray was strong.

10:14 p.m. We’re four minutes into the third period. The Penguins still lead 1-0.

Second period:

10 p.m. There were two chances for Lightning in that 2nd period that they’ll see in their sleep: Boyle’s post and Letang tucking the puck beneath Murray.

9:49 p.m. Through two periods, it’s 1-0 Pittsburgh. The Penguins dominated the 2nd, out-shooting the Lightning 21-6.

9:48 p.m. It was a costly turnover by Drouin that sparked a Kessel rush. The rebound fell right into Hagelin’s tape.

9:47 p.m. Hagelin scores to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead.

9:45 p.m. Pittsburgh is getting to every loose puck and winning every 50/50 battle.

9:41 p.m. Vasilevskiy has been outstanding again tonight, stopping all 26 shots he has faced.

9:34 p.m. The Penguins are peppering Vasilevskiy. Letang and Malkin get chances, but the Lightning goalie stands tall.

9:28 p.m. Just past the midway point of game three, Pittsburgh and Tampa remainl scoreless. Shots are 20-16 Pittsburgh.

9:28 p.m. Malkin sets up Crosby with a backhand chance in the slot. Vasilevskiy makes the save.

9:21 p.m. With 13:02 left in the second, it’s still 0-0. The shots now tipped in favor of PIT, 19-14.

9:20 p.m. A good forecheck by Fehr and Cullen leads to a turnover and a Kris Letang clapper, but Vasilevskiy absorbs the blast.

9:18 p.m. Quick passes set up Malkin in the slot, but he can’t find twine. The Lightning get an odd-man rush shorthanded, but Murray makes a huge save.

9:17 p.m. The Penguins top power play unit comes on with 1:13 left in the power play.

9:15 p.m. Callahan heads to the box for holding. It’s a good penalty to take though; he likely prevented a goal.

9:14 p.m. Crosby and Hornqvist are buzzing in the Lightning end. The Penguins draw a penalty.

9:12 p.m. Palat gets the first high-quality chance of the period but can’t find a teammate’s tape with a cross-slot pass.

9:08 p.m. We’re back, still 0-0 as the second period starts.

9 p.m. Garrison, Johnson and Callahan lead the Lightning with two shots apiece. Kunitz, Hagelin and Hornqvist each have two as well. Penguins defenseman Kris Letang logged 9:34 minutes of playing time. Meanwhile, Hedman played 7:51 for the Lightning.

First period:

8:50 p.m. Through one period of play, it’s still 0-0. The shots are 12-10 in favor of Tampa Bay.

8:48 p.m. Hagelin and Lovejoy work a neat little two-man game and kill 30 seconds.

8:47 p.m. The Lightning earn a late power play. Hornqvist is headed off for slashing.

8:44 p.m. There’s 3:24 left in the first. It’s still 0-0. The shots are 12-8 Lightning, but Pittsburgh has controlled the pace for the last 10 minutes or so.

8:43 p.m. The Lightning have been sloppy in their own zone in the first but have recovered well from turnovers.

8:40 p.m. A sloppy neutral zone exchange leads to a decent chance for Callahan, but his shot gets deflected harmlessly into Murray.

8:39 p.m. The Lightning aren’t getting traffic in front of Matt Murray. He’s getting clear sight lines on most chances.

8:38 p.m.  Killorn denies a prime Penguins scoring chance. Then Johnson does the same.

8:35 p.m. There’s 9:36 to play in a scoreless first period. The shots are nearly even (8-7 Tampa Bay) after a surge by Pittsburgh.

8:34 p.m. The Lightning are relying on defensemen to generate offense. Stralman has been caught pinching twice already.

8:33 p.m. Vasilevskiy makes a sharp save to deny Hagelin, then Johnson sacrifices his body to block a Kessel follow-up.

8:31 p.m. Vasilevskiy gets tested for the first time, courtesy a cute no-look pass from Crosby behind the net to Hornqvist in front.

8:27 p.m. We have the first TV timeout. There’s 12:28 to play in the first. The Lightning are outshooting the Penguins 7-2.

8:26 p.m. The Penguins generate a little pressure but can’t hit the net with a pair of shot attempts.

8:24 p.m. Nice body by Palat prevents Malkin from receiving an outlet pass. Pittsburgh is having trouble getting the puck deep.

8:21 p.m. Stralman gets a golden chance alone in front of Murray but flubs the shot.

8:20 p.m. Murray makes a sharp glove save to deny Carle on a late-developing 3-on-2. Still scoreless, 2:38 into Game 3.

8:19 p.m. The Paquette line had an excellent forecheck. That’s what Coach Cooper wanted to see tonight.

8:15 p.m. As previously reported, Callahan is back in the lineup. Blunden, Condra, Koekkoek and Nesterov have been scratched.


TAMPA, Fla. – After splitting the first two games of their series in Pittsburgh, the Penguins and Lightning are facing off tonight in Tampa. The Pens tied the series on Monday with a 3-2 overtime win fueled by the game-winning goal by Sidney Crosby.

Despite losing home ice advantage with that Game 1 defeat, the Pens have held the Lightning to just 41 shots in the first two games.

The series remains in Tampa for Game 4 Friday night before a return to the Steel City.

Follow News Channel 8’s Lightning coverage here.


Follow @WFLAPaul, @WFLADan and @WFLA on Twitter for live game updates.


The Lightning players arrived back in Florida Tuesday. News Channel 8 was there as fans greeted the Bolts.

Police have encouraged Lightning fans to be careful when buying tickets to this week’s home games. “If you’re taking the risk of buying tickets from a private seller, please use caution,” police said. “To protect yourself, arrange to meet at a police department or public place where there are surveillance cameras. If possible, take a photo of the ticket seller’s ID or take a photo of the tag on their car.”

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