for this game

Kunitz scores twice as Penguins top Lightning

Mar 4, 2009 - 4:28 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Chris Kunitz appears to be enjoying his new home.

Kunitz netted two goals as the Pittsburgh Penguins continued to thrive without captain Sidney Crosby in the lineup, skating to a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.

"Ever since I've been here, we've been building and getting better every game," Kunitz said.

"It doesn't matter if it's just at portions of defense or the neutral zone or goal-scoring chances or being physical, but every single game we've been getting better and hopefully that will continue until the end of the season."

Matt Cooke also tallied and Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves for the Penguins, who have won four straight games - all without Crosby - and improved to 6-1-1 under interim coach Dan Bylsma.

Vaclav Prospal scored and Karri Ramo stopped 30 shots for the Lightning, who have lost seven of their last nine contests.

"I thought the third period was out best period," Tampa Bay interim coach Rick Tocchet said.

"Pittsburgh has to win, they're playing for something and I thought the chances were pretty close. It was one of those things where if we got a couple of goals early it might have been a different game."

Kunitz, who was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday for defenseman Ryan Whitney, opened the scoring at 7:38 of the first period. He banged in a rebound of Tyler Kennedy's shot.

"It's a tough league, there are good players and defenders and it's tough to get goals," Bylsma said. "You've got to create offense and a lot of times the best play is getting the puck to the net, then going to the net.

"It can start to become an identity of a team, if you get pucks to the net and make (the defenseman) turn and have to play defense when there are pucks around their goalie, and you saw the first goal was an indication of that."

After Prospal evened the score less than five minutes later, the Penguins regained the lead on Kunitz's 19th goal of the season. On the man advantage, Kunitz fired a wrist shot past Ramo with 3:16 remaining in the opening session.

"Right now, we're doing a good job of shooting the pucks on net and going for rebounds," said Kunitz, who has recorded three goals and five points in three games with the Penguins. "It's something the whole team has been doing and we're scoring goals of late."

Fleury was impenetrable from that point and Cooke doubled the advantage with 7:34 left in the second period.

"Their goalie played well, it was a tough one," Lightning rookie Steven Stamkos said. "We got some bad bounces and that's the way it goes sometimes."

Crosby, an All-Star who ranks second on the club with 23 goals and 79 points, missed his fourth consecutive contest with a groin injury. That did not stop Pittsburgh (33-26-6), which moved into a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference.






  • 10
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Penguins 3, Lightning 1  FinalMar 3 11:16 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 2 1 0 3
    TAMPA BAY 1 0 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - CHRIS KUNITZ 18 (TYLER KENNEDY) 7:38
    TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 17 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, RYAN MALONE)
    12:23
    PIT - (PP) CHRIS KUNITZ 19 (PETR SYKORA, EVGENI MALKIN)
    16:44
    2ND PRD: PIT - MATT COOKE 9 (PASCAL DUPUIS, MA

    Mar 3 10:02 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 2 1 3
    TAMPA BAY 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - CHRIS KUNITZ 18 (TYLER KENNEDY) 7:38
    TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 17 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, RYAN MALONE)
    12:23
    PIT - (PP) CHRIS KUNITZ 19 (PETR SYKORA, EVGENI MALKIN)
    16:44
    2ND PRD: PIT - MATT COOKE 9 (PASC

    Mar 3 9:13 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 3
    TAMPA BAY 1
    2ND PRD: PIT - MATT COOKE 9 (PASCAL DUPUIS, MAXIME TALBOT) 12:26

    Penguins 3, Lightning 1  2nd - 7:34Mar 3 9:01 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 2 2
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - CHRIS KUNITZ 18 (TYLER KENNEDY) 7:38
    TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 17 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, RYAN MALONE)
    12:23
    PIT - (PP) CHRIS KUNITZ 19 (PETR SYKORA, EVGENI MALKIN)
    16:44
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3

    Mar 3 8:22 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: PIT - (PP) CHRIS KUNITZ 19 (PETR SYKORA, EVGENI MALKIN) 16:44

    Penguins 2, Lightning 1  1st - 3:16Mar 3 8:14 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 17 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, RYAN MALONE)
    12:23

    Penguins 1, Lightning 1  1st - 7:37Mar 3 8:06 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    TAMPA BAY 0
    1ST PRD: PIT - CHRIS KUNITZ 18 (TYLER KENNEDY) 7:38

    Penguins 1, Lightning 0  1st - 12:22Mar 3 7:58 PM
  • 5
    roots
    aqualung1 Added 5 roots

    Penguins vs. LightningMar 1 11:47 AM