The game was six months ago but Jon Cooper hasn't forgotten it. Sounds like it might be quite a while before he does. If ever. Cooper you see was just a couple of weeks into his tenure as Tampa Bay's coach when the Penguins visited Tampa Bay Times Forum April 11 and performed a 6-3 vivisection on the Lightning. "It could have been 16-3" Cooper said. That game is why he circled the one against the Penguins Saturday night as soon as the 2013-14 schedule was released. He was looking forward to getting another chance to evaluate his team against the Penguins. Unfortunately for Cooper -- and his team -- Sidney Crosby who was recovering from a broken jaw the previous time these teams met showed up this time. And left his fingerprints all over the Penguins' 5-4 victory by recording his eighth career hat trick. But even that wasn't enough to guarantee the Penguins their fourth victory in five games this season. They didn't get the goal that assured them of two points until there were just 18.6 seconds left in regulation when defenseman Matt Niskanen beat Lightning goalie Anders Lindback on a slap shot from above the left circle on a power play. "I had that shot a couple of times earlier in the game" Niskanen said. "One of them the goalie made a nice save on and I missed the net on a couple." Niskanen's goal gave the Penguins their seventh victory in a row in the regular season against Tampa Bay the longest such streak in franchise history.
Penguins pull past Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-4
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Oct 13