Pittsburgh Penguins (11-4-3) @ Tampa Bay Lightning (8-7-2)
TV: ROOT, NHLN-US
St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, FL
The last time Sidney Crosby played an NHL game it was against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The last time the 2010-2011 Pittsburgh Penguins played a game it was against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Steven Stamkos, Ryan Malone, Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, Dwayne Roloson and the Tampa Bay Lightning have taken a lot from the Pittsburgh Penguins recently.
Will that trend continue or will tonight be the night the Pittsburgh Penguins fight back?
Season Series: 0-0-0
Last meeting that counted: April 27, 2011. Lightning won 1-0.
What we said in our recap:
The other major issue was the powerplay, and we’re sure it will be discussed at incredible lengths over the next 6 months, as it should be. Anytime you go 1-for-34 at something, you’re fucked. That is no different here.
The powerplay struggled all season long, so this didn't really come as a surprise. The Pens didn’t have their top guns, but dear God. If they had generated at least ONE MORE POWERPLAY GOAL, they may have won the series.
And it dragged us into Game 7. The Pens had the first three powerplays of Game 7. You could not have asked for anything better. They even had a powerplay with less than a minute to play.
But the powerplay failed, and for the next 6 months all we will think about is Dominic Moore making the same pass behind the net that he did in Game 6 to Sean Bergenheim.
Want to experience the Penguins playoff round with the Lightning all over again? Check out the 2011playoffs tag and prepare to vomit.
Know Your Enemy: Lightning Hockey Blog.
What they're saying:
During the past couple weeks it's been kind of a surprise as to which team shows up on the ice each night. We seem to keep alternating between 2 or 3 game win or losing streaks. On a positive note, our home record has actually been pretty good with only one loss at home.
After being beaten by the Jets on Monday, the players had a players-only meeting. Those seem to be trendy this time of year when you lose to a shitty team like the Jets. Let's hope some good came out of it, though dind't we just have one a few weeks ago? And what happened to breakfast being the game changer?
This is the first game against the Pens since we last played them in the playoffs last season. The Penguins are currently atop of the Eastern Conference, 7 points ahead of us. As if everyone in hockey is not aware, Sidney Crosby isn't playing yet. Is there a requirement to write an obligatory Crosby article each time a team plays the Pens? Maybe beat writers get it pre-written in their games notes package.
Pittsburgh Penguins Notes:
Matt Cooke may not be Satan after all.
Trade Staal. No.
Tampa Bay Lightning Notes:
Victor Hedman is still injured.
Favorite Lightning Image, Photoshop, Gif or Video:
Pittsburgh Penguins lines from Penguins.NHL.com:
Steve Sullivan – Evgeni Malkin – James Neal
Chris Kunitz – Jordan Staal – Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke – Joe Vitale – Tyler Kennedy
Arron Asham – Richard Park – Craig Adams
Brooks Orpik – Kris Letang
Paul Martin – Deryk Engelland
Alexandre Picard – Matt Niskanen
Tampa Bay Lightning lines from Empty Netters:
Nate Thompson – Steven Stamkos – Martin St. Louis
Tom Pyatt – Vincent Lecavalier – Teddy Purcell
Adam Hall – Dominic Moore – Brett Connolly
Ryan Shannon – Steve Downie
Matt Gilroy – Eric Brewer
Marc-Andre Bergeron – Pavel Kubina
Victor Hedman – Brett Clark
After the Colorado game, he deserves another start.