TAMPA, Fla. – Martin St. Louis scored his 30th goal of the season, helping the Tampa Bay Lightning clinch their first playoff berth since 2007 with a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.
Steve Downie also scored for the Lightning, who have won three in a row following a four-game losing skid.
Pittsburgh, which had won its previous four road games, got a goal from Michael Rupp.
Penguins center Sidney Crosby, sidelined for nearly three months with a concussion, resumed skating with his teammates in practice. The Pittsburgh captain, out since Jan. 6., is not ready yet to participate in full practices. A return to game action for the postseason has not been completely ruled out.
Downie put the Lightning up 1-0 with a backhand rebound goal at 4:51 of the first.
St. Louis made it 2-0 with 9:47 left in the opening period. Vincent Lecavalier set up the goal with a check on Penguins defenseman Kris Letang that resulted in St. Louis picking up a loose puck and then beating Marc-Andre Fleury from just below the right circle.
Lecavalier has six assists and eight points during a six-game point streak. The Lightning captain has 12 assists and 24 points in his last 23 games.
Rupp cut the deficit to 2-1 on the Penguins' seventh shot of the period on Dwayne Roloson 4:31 into the third. The center stopped a personal 13-game goal drought.
Notes: Tampa Bay LW Ryan Malone returned after missing 21 games due to a mid-body injury. ... The Penguins are 19-13-5 this season with Crosby out of the lineup. ... St. Louis has scored a goal in three consecutive games. The right wing has scored 30 or more goals in a season five times.