After a 1-2 road trip, the Pittsburgh Penguins return home to, once again, take on the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Penguins are coming off a big win in Montreal Saturday night, in a game where they didn’t roll over when facing adversity. Tampa Bay is in the midst of a four-game losing streak, most recently coming up short against the Boston Bruins, losing 3-2 on Saturday.
When and where: Consol Energy Center (Pittsburgh, PA); 7:30 p.m./et (ROOT Sports, NBC Sports Network, TSN2, RDS2)
Season series: Penguins lead 1-0
Last meeting: The Penguins and Lightning met last Sunday, February 24 in Pittsburgh. That night, the Penguins jumped out to a 3-0 lead in part to two goals from Sidney Crosby and one from Paul Martin. Tampa Bay would make a comeback with two goals to start the second period, but Beau Bennett put an end to that with his first career NHL goal. Matt Cooke sealed the game with an empty netter to give Pittsburgh the 5-3 victory. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped twenty-seven of the Lightning’s thirty shots for his tenth win of the season.
1. Lightning power play vs. Penguins penalty kill: Currently Tampa Bay ranks sixth in the NHL in power play efficiency, and the Penguins counter with the seventeenth-best penalty kill. No matter their win/loss record, the Lightning always has a strong power play thanks to Steven Stamkos’ wicked shot. In their previous meeting, Stamkos showed that when he scored a power play goal to bring Tampa within one of the lead.
2. Defense: Even though the Penguins came out of Montreal with the victory, they still surrendered six goals in the process. The Lightning lead the league in goals for with 3.48 per game, but the Penguins are right behind them with 3.46 goals per game. With that said, defense will be a key factor tonight or we could be in for another track meet.
Penguins: D Paul Martin (lower-body)
Lightning: LW Ryan Malone (lower-body), LW Benoit Pouliot (shoulder), D Mattias Ohlund (knee), D Matt Taormina (upper body)
-Tonight will be career game number 450 for Marc-Andre Fleury.
-Ryan Malone skated with the Lightning in Pittsburgh, but is expected to sit out tonight’s game.
Penguins (via penguins.nhl.com)
14 Chris Kunitz (A)-87 Sidney Crosby (C)-9 Pascal Dupuis
24 Matt Cooke-71 Evgeni Malkin (A)-18 James Neal
15 Dustin Jeffrey-16 Brandon Sutter-48 Tyler Kennedy
10 Tanner Glass-46 Joe Vitale-27 Craig Adams
44 Brooks Orpik-58 Kris Letang
2 Matt Niskanen-4 Mark Eaton
47 Simon Despres-5 Deryk Engelland
29 Marc-Andre Fleury
89 Cory Conacher-91 Steven Stamkos (A)-16 Teddy Purcell
17 Alexander Killorn-4 Vincent Lecavalier (C)-26 Martin St. Louis (A)
74 Ondrej Palat-44 Nate Thompson-11 Tom Pyatt
19 B.J. Crombeen-18 Adam Hall-71 Richard Panik
2 Eric Brewer-25 Matt Carle
6 Sami Salo-77 Victor Hedman
3 Keith Aulie-47 Marc-Andre Bergeron
32 Mathieu Garon