Thursday, March 31, 2011

Game #78 - at Tampa Bay Lightning

Game 78
Penguins (45-24-8, 98 points) at Lightning (41-24-11, 93 points)

Why does it matter?
While not as important as the Flyers game was, this is still a good measuring stick. The Lightning would love to have home ice in the likely first round match up. Even if they win tonight over the Pens, that isn't very likely.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Just not good enough against the Flyers on Tuesday.
  • Lightning - The month of March has not been kind to the Lightning (4-6-4), but they have won two straight.
Questions to be answered
  • Will the Pens get back to playing their style of hockey, which is usually successful on the road?
  • Does the goal from Kovie against Philly signal that he's going to convert some of the chances that his line generates? Please? More than anything else, that could determine Pittburgh's playoff fate.
  • How will the Pens slow down the power play of the Lightning, which has 13 goals in March? By comparison, the Pens have two power play goals in March. Ugh.
Keys to the game
  • Remember that thing about playing 60 minutes with a good consistent effort? The Pens didn't do that on Tuesday. Let's see if they can get that back tonight.
  • Control their big guns and you'll win. Much of the damage against the Pens has been done by St. Louis and Stamkos. St. Louis always seems to torture the Pens.
  • Get the puck deep - the Lightning D have struggled against the Pens this year (Kubina is -3, Lundin is -5 and Hedman is -3).

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