Jacksonville Sports Day

NHL: Penguins Take Lead in Series with 4-2 Win

TAMPA — Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist to help the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final at Amalie Arena on Wednesday.

Carl Hagelin, Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz scored for the Penguins, and Matt Murray made 26 saves.

Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat scored for the Lightning, who have lost consecutive games for the first time in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 44 saves.

Kessel scored his seventh goal of the postseason at 5:16 of the third period to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead. Nick Bonino won a puck battle against Lightning forward Valtteri Filppula behind the net and passed it to Kessel, who beat Vasilevskiy high to the glove side from close range.

Johnson answered for the Lightning 14 seconds later, closing the gap to 2-1. Nikita Kucherov carried the puck into the offensive zone and tied up Penguins defensemen Brian Dumoulin and Kris Letang, allowing Johnson to streak behind him uncovered with a clear path to the net for a backhand past Murray.

Crosby gave the Penguins a 3-1 lead at 10:50 with his second goal in the past two games and fifth of the playoffs. With Pittsburgh on a 4-on-3 power play, Evgeni Malkin found Crosby open at the right faceoff dot for a one-timer past Vasilevskiy.

Kunitz made it 4-1 with an unassisted goal at 13:12. Palat scored his fourth goal of the playoffs with 1:44 left to make it 4-2.

Pittsburgh has a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series. Game 4 is in Tampa on Friday at 8 p.m.

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