The Pittsburgh Penguins come into today’s game feeling better after their first victory in the last 6 games. The Penguins have played well in their last 2 and are facing Tampa, a team that is really struggling in a big way. They are 0-5 and 1 in their last 6 games and are 12th overall in the East.For the Penguins, this is the perfect time to play the Bolts since they are just starting to turn their fortunes around. Tampa has had some concussion problems missing one of their best defenders in Victor Hedman since December 27th. The Lightning defensive struggles are the reasons this team is underachieving so much. It is this poor defensive play Tampa that could end up being another dose of elixir for the Penguins snake bitten offense.
The Lightning have 3 players right now playing well and scoring and that group is led by League Goal scoring leader Steven Stamkos. Stamkos leads the league with 30 goals and he is being supported by Lecavalier and 36 year old Martin St. Louis. Both are on a tear over their last 10 games or so.
The Pens are coming off of that 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers where they played well and probably should have scored an additional 4 or 5 goals. Here is to hoping they can take the next step and get back to real Penguins hockey. Malkin was off the ice yesterday for a maintenance day but was the only player that was off the ice, everyone else that could participate did. Crosby was also on the ice with his team, though non contact of course.
Look for James Neal for the Penguins to step up today after playing better on Friday. Neal is the teams leading goal scorer, and would love to show off his stuff in front of Stamkos and the boys from the Bay. Look for Fleury to be in net today, facing off against Tampa’s Dwayne Roloson. Roloson has struggled this season mightily. Though, he has been the poison pill for this Penguins team. They have struggled against him for the last 2 seasons now including not being able to solve him in the playoffs last season.
Today’s game will be at 1pm.
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