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Penguins / Lightning recap: Pens win a crazy game

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning play an insane game that features a ref puking, the goal horn going off before a goal was scored, and some fluky goals. Let's recap the sheer craziness here.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

"Vomit. Horns going off when no goal was scored. Own goals" -- Josh Yohe on twitter. And that was only by the second period!

Yep, it was the proverbial "one of those games". Luckily, more breaks went the Penguins way. Where to begin?

Ref Mike Leggo left the game in the first period and wouldn't return after losing his lunch on the ice (it's already on Deadspin if you need to see the evidence. Not Safe for Feeling good about yourself, obviously). Evgeni Malkin hit the post and fooled the person who runs the goal horn and flashing arena lights. Those were activated but play was still going on. Luckily Andrew Ebbett wasn't fooled and threw a backhand shot by Ben Bishop.

Then, Victor Hedman threw a bad angle shot from behind the goal that hit Thomas Greiss on his glove and ricocheted into the net, somehow. Later in the period, Nick Spaling got his stick tangled up in the helmet/face-shield of Anton Stralman and somehow got back onsides in time for the Pens to get the puck back in the zone and beat replacement goalie Evgeni Nabokov before Stralman could recover.

It was just a strange and bizarre game at Consol Energy Center, which makes sense, since it was a strange and bizarre morning earlier with Malkin and Craig Adams coming to blows earlier in the day at the morning skate. It wasn't Friday the 13th, but it was odd.

A few more thoughts before we can move on for good:

  • Malkin played really well, as he always seems to against the Lightning, but certainly nothing about his morning fight negatively affected him. Adams was wearing a jaw protector but played as normal and seemingly normally.
  • The newly formed Christian Ehrhoff / Kris Letang has a little ways to go. Which is fine. But both defensemen ended up behind the net on the first goal against, never a good sign, with 2 Tampa players right in front of the goalie. One of them was notorious Penguins killer Brian Boyle, who ended up scoring the goal.
  • Another game and another beautiful primary assist for Beau Bennett . No doubt the kid has great hands and vision, nice to see him get a chance to showcase it. Hopefully he fulfills that New Years Resolution and keeps playing.
  • If Tyler Johnson isn't the most under-rated (or at least not talked about widely enough) player in the league, it might be Nikita Kucherov, especially now that Mark Giordano is getting his well-deserved due.
  • Brutal night for Brandon Sutter in the faceoff circle winning just 4 of 16 for 25%. Momma said there'd be days like this.
  • Simon Despres has had a great couple weeks but oh boy did he get walked by Alex Killorn. Live and learn.
  • About as quiet a 4 assist night for Sidney Crosby as you'll see (if that's possible). His pass to Downie was sublime, and to avoid the Nabokov sweeping poke check was pretty sick too. Good to see Sid rack 'em up again and get back to his good old productive self.
  • Welcome back Steve Downie. Nice display of hands and patient on that shot to drag the puck around a sliding defender and then roof a puck past Nabokov.
  • Great play by Kris Letang to unselfishly slide a puck to the uncovered Downie for a gimme empty netter right before the end of the game. Who knew the Pens were allowed to score on them?
  • Andrew Ebbett with his first goal of the season and an assist on his birthday of all days. And he got to skate with Malkin. Won't last forever, but good for him. Played hard and earned it.

Well, that was a strange one but all's well that ends well, right? Back tomorrow for Montreal.