June 21st, 2024

Michael Bunting scores in 3rd period as the Pittsburgh Penguins top the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4

By Wes Crosby, The Associated Press on April 6, 2024.

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Michael Bunting snapped a tie with 5:28 left in the third period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins moved into a playoff spot with a 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

Referee Steve Kozari was taken off the ice on a stretcher after colliding with Lightning defenseman Haydn Fleury 6:11 into the third period. Kozari was able to move his arms. Fleury did not return.

Evgeni Malkin had two goals and an assist for Pittsburgh, and Bunting also had two assists. Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang also scored.

Penguins goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic made 30 saves in his eighth straight start.

Pittsburgh (36-30-11) posted its fourth straight win and improved to 6-0-2 in its last eight games overall. It is tied with Philadelphia (36-30-11) for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference, with the Flyers visiting Columbus on Saturday night.

The Lightning (43-27-7), who clinched a playoff berth Friday when Philadelphia, Washington and Detroit lost in regulation, had won 10 of their previous 12.

Steven Stamkos scored twice for Tampa Bay, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 23 stops. Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman each had three assists.

Bunting scored his 18th goal on a backhand from just outside the slot. Bunting was acquired in a March trade with Carolina.

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