Penguins 5, Lightning 5
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ One goal down and one man up, the Tampa Bay Lightning decided to go for it.
They pulled their goaltender, and pulled out a 5-5 tie Friday night with the Pittsburgh Penguins on John Cullen’s power-play goal with 43.2 seconds left.
With Pittsburgh left wing Shawn Antoski off for high-sticking, Tampa Bay pulled goalie Derek Wilkinson with 50 seconds remaining. Seven seconds later, Cullen send an Ice Palace crowd of 19,675 into a frenzy.
Roman Hamrlik’s blue-line shot was deflected by Shawn Burr. After Ken Wregget made the initial save, Cullen stuffed the rebound past the Penguins’ goaltender.
``We weren’t going to be denied,″ Burr said. ``The last shift (of regulation) proved it. ... Cullen diving head-first in front of a shot. We weren’t going to lose.″
Cullen’s tying goal overshadowed an offensive explosion by the NHL’s leading goal scorers, Tampa Bay’s Dino Ciccarelli and Pittsburgh’s Jaromir Jagr. Ciccarelli recorded his 15th career hat-trick, while Jagr scored twice. They both have 13 goals this season.
``We didn’t play Pittsburgh Penguin hockey,″ Jagr said. ``We didn’t forecheck and score goals like we used to.″
Jagr currently has a six-game goal streak. Ciccarelli’s three-goal performance gave him eight over the last six games.
Pittsburgh (0-8-1) remained winless on the road. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay ended a two-game losing streak.
``It’s a good tie,″ Tampa Bay coach Terry Crisp said. ``The biggest thing it showed is guts.″
The Penguins, who entered the final period ahead 5-4, blew a lead after 40 minutes for the third time in 1996.
``We should have two (points), there’s no question″ Pittsburgh coach Eddie Johnston said. ``We can’t win a hockey game if we’ve got penalties all the time. They come back to haunt you.″
The game featured a penalty-filled first period as the teams combined for five goals and 12 penalties. It took only five minutes before the game’s first fight took place.
Mario Lemieux had to be restained by linesman Ray Scapinello after it appeared the Penguins’ center was hit by Igor Ulanov’s stick. Scapinello grabbed Lemieux’s jersey from behind, preventing the Pittsburgh captain from reaching Ulanov. The incident resulted in both players receiving minor penalties at 5:21.
Just before intermission, the pair tangled again. Ulanov sent Lemieux sprawling to the ice. This time Pittsburgh left wing Dave Roche intervened. As Ulanov skated toward the bench, Roche followed and eventually pummelled the Lightning defenseman with a series of punches. Roche was given a fighting major and game misconduct. Ulanov, who required seven stitches to close a head cut, was called for a roughing minor.
Lemieux extracted some revenge when he scored on the power play at 19:07. The goal brought the Penguins within 3-2 after 20 minutes. Lemieux, who also had an assist, extended his scoring streak to eight games.