TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—The Tampa Bay Lightning never had a victory like this.
“We came out to play,” Lecavalier said. “The last few games, I thought we played well. We just couldn’t finish. Tonight, we did.”
Tampa Bay had lost two straight after starting the season with an eight-game unbeaten streak.
Lecavalier scored two second-period goals and completed his third career hat trick with 14:29 left in the third. His first career three-goal game came exactly a year earlier against the Penguins.
Khabibulin was rarely tested, but did make a save on a shot by Rico Fata from close range midway through the second.
“This is about as bad as it can get,” Pittsburgh coach Ed Olczyk said. “They just totally outplayed us.”
Cory Stillman had a goal and three assists for the Lightning, who outshot Pittsburgh 42-15. The nine goals is the most ever by the Lightning in a game.
Penguins center Mario Lemieux missed his third straight game because of a strained muscle in his left hip. Pittsburgh has lost all three.
Brad Lukowich opened the scoring at 5:10 in the first period, and the Lightning killed off a seven-minute short-handed situation.
“I think it was the important part of the game,” Lightning coach John Tortorella said. “It gave us a little bit of juice, and it’s got to hurt the Penguins not scoring a goal within those seven minutes.”
The Penguins failed to mount a serious threat during the lengthy power play, getting just four shots.
“You have to score on the power play and we didn’t” Pittsburgh’s Martin Straka said. “We got a couple shots and that’s all.”
The power play came after Tampa Bay’s Chris Dingman was checked hard into the boards by Steve Webb. Dingman dropped his gloves and went after Webb, who kept his gloves on. Pittsburgh’s Steve McKenna then grabbed Dingman before order was restored.
Dingman received a two-minute instigator penalty, five-minutes for fighting, a ten-minute misconduct and a game misconduct. McKenna was given a game misconduct, while Webb was not penalized.
Tampa Bay went up 2-0 with 16.9 seconds left in the first on Fredrik Modin’s goal.
Pittsburgh has been outscored 20-3 in the first period this season.
The Penguins have allowed seven short-handed goals this season. They have scored seven power-play goals.
Stillman and Lecavalier scored in a 48-second span late in the second to give Tampa Bay a five-goal lead.
Caron was pulled midway through the third after allowing eight goals on 37 shots. … Pittsburgh’s most lopsided loss came in a 12-0 setback to Montreal on Feb. 22, 1979. … The Penguins (3-7-3) have allowed the first goal in 10 of 13 games, going 1-7-2 in those games. … The Lightning (8-1-1-1) are7-0-0 when scoring first.