When Sidney Crosby plays like he did tonight then not really all that much matters. Sure, the Penguins took a lot of penalties and it cost them two goals including one with about three minutes left in a game that had the Penguins up by one but Crosby was there all game to save the day and he was part of the game winner with 18 seconds left. Matt Niskanen had been ramping up the one-timer all game long and it finally clicked. Sure it didn't click till there were like 18 seconds left but it led to the Penguins fifth goal which turned out to be one more than the Lighting got in the game. Therefore, it was a pretty large goal.
The Lighting not half of their goals on the power play and the Penguins penalty kill wasn't all that good. Granted, the Tampa Bay power play is one of the better ones in the league but when you take enough penalties they are going to score on you no matter how bad they are with the man advantage. I realize the officials were less than subpar and I saw a lot of people were talking about how Tampa Bay scored both of their power play goals on really touchy calls but the fact remains that the Penguins penalty kill doesn't have to automatically give up a goal because the officials did a bad job. Overcome and kill the penalty. It almost cost the Penguins tonight.
Anyways, this Crosby guy might be pretty good at hockey. He was all over the place and while he has done a lot of things in his career one of the things I don't think he gets enough credit for is what he does around the net. He was there all night tonight and was one of the main reasons he had three goals and assisted on the game winner. It would be pretty easy for him to just skate around the perimeter and take shots but he is one of the first ones in front of the net when nobody else is and he will battle for his spot. He will do whatever it takes to put the puck in the back of the net and he was rewarded tonight.
While the Penguins didn't do a great job of keeping the puck out of their net they did a pretty nice job of not giving Tampa Bay a lot of chances. The Lightning had only 18 shots during the game and didn't have a single period where they had more than eight. They actually only had two shots in the third period. The whole third period.
While the Penguins won and put a bunch of goals on the board they were pretty sloppy. They took six penalties and had 13 giveaways. The Lighting also had 13 takeaways. While I don't normally put a lot of stock in the giveaway/takeaway stats because they can be pretty subjective that is still a pretty big number on both ends. The Penguins didn't take care of the puck and that was a big reason they almost lost this game or even gave a point to Tampa Bay if they forced overtime.
Anyways, a win is a win and after the loss last night it was important that the Penguins came out and got two points. They did that and now get a couple days off before they come back to Pittsburgh to play Edmonton.