Tampa Bay Lightning (39-24-7) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (45-19-5)
Root Sports, NHLN-US, Sun – 1:00 pm/et
Consol Energy Center – Pittsburgh, PA
The Tampa Bay Lightning are second in the Atlantic Division and third in the Eastern Conference. They also have Steven Stamkos back, who has five goals and seven points in his last five games.
It’s still weird seeing the Lightning without Martin St. Louis.
For the Pens, Joe Vitale is out with an inury and Beau Bennett has been sent to WBS for conditioning, so it looks like he’ll be back in the Pittsburgh line-up soon if all goes well. It will be interesting to see how Dan Bylsma handles Vitale being out of the line-up.
A fun note from Empty Netters:
The last time the Penguins played the Lightning, Evgeni Malkin was penalized for tucking in his jersey: http://t.co/h0a66HFdhr
STATS, INFO & NOTES:
Penguins: Sidney Crosby (33G, 58A: 91P)
Lightning: Valtteri Filppula (23G, 29A: 52P)
Penguins: Marc-Andre Fleury (34-15-4, 2.39 GAA, .915 Sv%)
Lightning: Ben Bishop (34-11-6, 2.17 GAA, .927 Sv%)
Penguins: Lost to Detroit Red Wings 5-4 [OT].
Lightning: Defeated Ottawa Senators 5-4.
Opposition Blog: [Raw Charge]
What They’re Saying: “Brief and to the point; Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins preview”
First things first though, and that’s the challenge of the Pittsburgh Penguins in all their glory. And it’s a matinee too, so it’s hard to gauge exactly what is going to happen here with the lineup – will Jon Cooper adhere to the same lineup he ran in Toronto and Ottawa or will he rotate in fresh bodies (Mark Barberio, Keith Aulie, Richard Panik, and Nikita Kucherov)? Hell, will Cody Funyk be with the Lightning and will Cooper experiment with the recent-signee?
As for the Pittsburgh Penguins, I think you know what you need to know: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, James Neal, etc, etc, etc. Many goals, many many goals, and Pierre McGuire’s eternal devotion.
Really, there’s only one fact that I think matters here, though you might be reading this for information that pertains to how the Penguins are doing and I can just tell you they’re good. Just as good as when the Bolts nearly beat them in early October and just as good as when Tampa Bay lost a defensive battle to them in November.
What Happened Last Time: November 29, 2013 – Pens won 3-0 [Our Recap]
Great turnaround for Marc-Andre Fleury after he was unjustly pulled from the Toronto game on Wednesday. The Pens won that game, so you can’t complain too much. It may have stemmed the bleeding.
Penguins Player(s) to Watch: Marc-Andre Fleury. Ever since the series against the Flyers, people have been irrationally mad at him, which could shake his confidence because we think he cares about that stuff.
Lightning Player(s) to Watch: Steve Stamkos. Because he is talented.
Gif that Seems Appropriate for Today’s Game:
Pittsburgh Penguins lines from Daily Faceoff:
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Lee Stempniak
Jussi Jokinen – Evgeni Malkin – James Neal
Tanner Glass – Marcel Goc – Brian Gibbons
Taylor Pyatt – Brandon Sutter – Craig AdamsBrooks Orpik – Matt Niskanen
Olli Maatta – Rob Scuderi
Robert Bortuzzo – Simon DespresMarc-Andre Fleury
Tampa Bay Lightning lines from Daily Faceoff:
Tyler Johnson – Steven Stamkos – Teddy Purcell
Ondrej Palat – Valtteri Filppula – Ryan Callahan
J.T. Brown – Alex Killorn – Richard Panik
Ryan Malone – Nate Thompson – B.J. CrombeenVictor Hedman – Sami Salo
Matt Carle – Radko Gudas
Eric Brewer – Mike KostkaBen Bishop