TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Dwayne Roloson stymied the Pittsburgh Penguins again.
Roloson made 33 saves, Vincent Lecavalier had two goals and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Penguins 4-1 on Thursday night.
``There's no way you can beat that team if the goaltender is not at his best,' Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said. ``They've got everything, basically. We've got to play almost perfect defensively.'
Brett Connolly and Steve Downie also scored for the Lightning, who have won six consecutive home games.
Pittsburgh got a third-period goal from Tyler Kennedy.
It was the first game between the teams since Roloson helped Tampa Bay beat Pittsburgh in an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series last season.
``Last year is last year,' Roloson said. ``We're focusing on this year.'
There was some chippy play, but no fights took place.
Roloson stopped an in-close shot by Steve Sullivan in the first. He also made several strong saves, including a lunging pad stop on Sullivan's back-hander, during a late second-period power play.
``I don't think we had any quality chances,' Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang said. ``I think we took some shots, but I don't think he had a really difficult life back in his net.'
Lecavalier put the Lightning up 1-0 from just outside the crease on Tampa Bay's first shot of game 8:38 into the first. He picked up a loose puck after a defensive-zone turnover by Jordan Staal and made several moves before beating goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
Fleury finished with 14 saves. He was 7-0-1 in his previous eight games.
Connolly made it 2-0 when he re-directed Dominic Moore's shot while positioned in the low slot during a power play at 4:08 of the second.
Connolly had lost his stick shortly before the goal and went to the bench area, where high-scoring Steven Stamkos handed the rookie right wing his stick.
``There's a lot of magic in those sticks, for sure,' Connolly said.
Pittsburgh had allowed just three goals in 53 previous short-handed situations this season before Connolly's goal.
Downie extended the lead to 3-0 on Tampa Bay's second power-play goal of the game early in the third.
Pittsburgh has given up power-play goals in only three games this season. Toronto had two man-advantage goals in a 4-3 win on Oct. 29, and Washington had one Oct. 13 en route to a 3-2 overtime victory.
``Clearly the special teams battle ... two power-play goals for them and us not cashing in on our opportunities,' Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. ``A lot of them came late and we were pressing at that point in time, but they won the battle 2-0 and that's pretty much the difference in the game.'
Pittsburgh went 0 for 7 on the power play, while the Lightning converted two of their six opportunities.
After Lecavalier scored his second goal of the game into an empty net at 15:49 of the third, Kennedy ruined Roloson's bid for his 30th career shutout a minute later.
``They've got great players,' Downie said. ``It's always nice to beat these guys.'
Notes: Pittsburgh C Sidney Crosby, who hasn't played since Jan. 5 because of a concussion, continues to work out with the team. ... Lightning LW Ryan Malone missed his fourth straight game due to an undisclosed upper body injury. He did take part in a morning practice. ... Downie ended his 16-game goal drought. ... Penguins LW James Neal had his seven-game point streak snapped. He had four goals and 11 points during the stretch.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved