|Date of game: 12/23/2014
Recap: Tampa Bay vs. Pittsburgh
Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Tyler Johnson recorded his second career hat trick and Tampa Bay held on late for a 4-3 decision over Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
Nikita Kucherov chipped in the other goal and two assists for the Lightning, who received three helpers from Ondrej Palat.
Andrei Vasilevskiy came up with 26 saves to record his second career victory.
Patric Hornqvist, Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang scored for the Penguins, who nearly wiped out a four-goal deficit but dropped their second in a row after winning three straight.
"We just made some big mistakes," said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. "Sometimes you make mistakes in games and you get away with them and it felt like every one we made (tonight) ended up in the net."
Jeff Zatkoff took the loss in relief, having allowed the game-deciding goal on 17 shots. Marc-Andre Fleury got the start but was yanked after yielding three goals on 10 shots in nearly 21 minutes of action.
Hornqvist finally answered for the Pens just after the midway point of regulation when he carried the puck from his own zone up the right wing and scored to the short side with a hard wrister.
Kunitz made it a two-goal game when he beat Vasilevskiy on a breakaway with a backhander after exiting the penalty box five seconds shy of the midway point of the third.
Letang pulled the visitors within one as Zatkoff was on the bench for an extra skater, flipping a shot home from just below the circles.
"They're a good team. I thought they showed a lot of resiliency," Johnson said. "They have a lot of guys on that team who won Stanley Cups. They're just tough to play against. They battled all 60 minutes."
Johnson opened the scoring at 6:54 of the first with a one-timer from the hashmarks, then rippled the net again with four seconds left before the first intermission on a seeing-eye shot from the left circle.
Kucherov made it 3-0 for the Bolts inside the opening minute of the second and Johnson completed his milestone by welcoming Zatkoff to the game at 2:37 with a blistering shot from the right wing to cap an odd-man rush.Game Notes
Johnson's first hat trick came in a 5-2 win over the Avalanche on Jan. 27 ...
The 24-year-old native of Spokane, Washington has totaled 16 points (7G, 9A)
in his last 13 games ... Just prior to the contest, Pens head coach Mike
Johnston revealed that forward Blake Comeau will miss several weeks with an
upper-body injury. The team recalled forward Dominik Uher from Wilkes-
Barre/Scranton of the AHL.