Sidney Crosby scored two power play goals to hit the 100 point plateau and the Penguins held off a late Lightning rally to clinch their third straight playoff berth in a 6-4 win Tuesday night at the St. Pete Times Forum.
Pittsburgh went up 4-0 with goals from Ruslan Fedotenko (16), Sidney Crosby (31, 32) and Matt Cooke (12) but the last place Lightning fought back and scored three unanswered goals to get within one goal of the Penguins at 9:43 of the third period
Two minutes later, Petr Sykora scored on a Ruslan Fedotenko rebound to put the Penguins up 5-3 at 11:43 in the third. Sykora‚Äôs third period tally was his 300th goal of his career and his first point in eight games.
The Lightning continued to battle as the game got physical late in the third. A total of 37 penalty minutes were amassed and fightning majors were awarded to Eric Godard, Bill Guerin, David Kocci and Evgeni Artyukhin.
After a late third period goal by Jeff Halpren to cut the Penguins lead to 5-4, Jordan Staal (22) added an empty net goal to seal the Penguins win.
Marc Andre Fleury making his 28th start in 29 games, made 33 saves to record his 34th win of the season.
Sidney Crosby (101 pts) has recorded his third 100 point season in four career NHL seasons. Crosby missed 29 games last season and registered 72 points. Malkin (110 pts) has hit the 100 point plateau for the second consecutive season.
It is the first time two Pittsburgh players have reached 100 points during the same season since Mario Lemieux (161) and Jaromir Jagr (149) in the 1995-96 season