TAMPA, FLORIDA – The surging Tampa Bay Lightning are piling up goals and victories.
Ondrej Palat and Anton Stralman both scored twice, Tyler Johnson had a goal and two assists and the Lightning beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3 on Friday night for their eighth consecutive home win.
“I think we all believe that we have a pretty good offense when we’re rolling,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if we’ve seen that throughout the entire season, but for this last streak I think the offense has been alive.”
Tampa Bay, 10-1 overall since Jan. 8, also got a goal from Alex Killorn. Nikita Kucherov had two assists to give him a point in 21 of his last 25 games (17 assists, 32 points).
The Lightning have scored three or more goals in eight of the past 11 games.
Patric Hornqvist, Sidney Crosby and Matt Cullen scored for the Penguins, who had a four-game winning streak end and lost in regulation for just the fourth time in 18 games (10-4-4). Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled midway through the second after allowing four goals on 14 shots and replaced by Jeff Zatkoff.
“A little bit of trying to alter the flow,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said of removing Fleury. “The goals that went in were, I think, high-quality chances. I was trying to change the momentum of the game.”
Crosby moved within one point of becoming the 106th NHL player to reach 900 points. If he gets the point in his next two games, Crosby will become the 10th-fastest to the milestone.
Penguins center Evgeni Malkin is dealing with a lower-body injury and didn’t play. The team’s leading scorer will also sit out Saturday’s game at Florida and will be re-evaluated early next week.
After getting outshot 10-1, the Lightning tied it 1-1 when Stralman scored on Tampa Bay’s second shot of the first period at 11:50.
The Lightning went ahead 2-1 on their fifth and final shot in the first on Killorn’s redirection with 1:26 left.
“It’s discouraging,” Sullivan said. “We played the right way for the most part and we don’t get rewarded for it. That happens sometimes. We have to find a way to stay the course.”
Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop stopped 11 of 12 Pittsburgh shots during the first. Bishop finished with 27 saves. Hurricanes 5, Jets 3
In Winnipeg, Phillip Di Giuseppe, Andrej Nestrasil, Jordan Staal and Justin Faulk scored in the first period, and Carolina held on against the Jets.
Alexander Burmistrov, Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler scored for Winnipeg. Blue Jackets 2, Flames 1
In Calgary, Columbus rookie William Karlsson has two goals to lead the surging Blue Jackets past the Flames. Ducks 5, Coyotes 2
In Anaheim, Corey Perry and Andrew Cogliano scored in the third period and the Ducks beat Arizona for their season-high sixth straight victory.