Tampa Bay Lightning (19-21-2, 40 pts) at Pittsburgh Penguins (18-15-6, 42 pts)
The Lightning are ending a four game road trip tonight, and starting a home-and-home series with the Pens. The game in Tampa is on Tuesday. The Bolts have gone 1-2 on their trip so far, and have lost four of their last six games overall.
A few things jump out at me about this game:
The Lightning are the worst team in the NHL at killing penalties.
They're also the second best in the NHL at not taking penalties.
What does that mean? That it's tough to get them to take a penalty, but if you can get a few on them, your chances are good. For the Pens, that means be aggressive in the offensive zone and go strong to the net when you have a chance. Look for players like Crosby and Malkin to excel, but also for guys like Dominic Moore and Max Talbot to use their speed to draw penalties.
This really is a game the Penguins ought to be able to win. They need two points in regulation, as the Lightning are one of the teams the Pens will be competing with for the last few spots in the playoffs.
Oh, and one more thing - AVOID THE SHOOT OUT!! The Lightning goalies have stopped 16 of 17 shots in shoot outs.
Lightning blog - I'll point you to Lightning Hockey Central, mostly because of the post about the dark side of hockey blogging that is the current read. Me, I try and keep my blogging as separate as I can from real life. It's better that way.
I'm looking for a solid home effort tonight from the Pens. They really need to keep the momentum going. Hopefully Vinny the Penguin Killer doesn't hurt them again tonight...
Let's Go Pens!