Sunday, January 15, 2012

Game #44 - at Tampa Bay Lightning

2011-12 Game 44

Pittsburgh Penguins (22-17-4, 48 points) at Tampa Bay Lightning (17-22-4, 38 points)

Expect to see Malone hanging out in the Penguins' crease.

Why does it matter?

It's a chance to build on something good as the Pens try to beat the Lightning for the first time in five tries.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - The ship was turned around with their 4-1 win against the Panthers on Friday night.
  • Lightning - 2012 has not been kind to the Bolts, who have lost six straight games (0-5-1).
Questions to be answered
  • Will the goal scoring continue?  That's the big question - the Pens need to keep firing the puck.  The Lightning have been flip-flopping between Garon and Roloson, though neither has been very good.
  • Can the Pens take advantage of the poor special teams play from Tampa?  The PK and power play for the Bolts are among the worst in the league.
  • Any chance of a Brent Johnson showing today?  He could use a boost, and while this isn't quite back-to-back, it is two games in less than 48 hours.
Keys to the game
  • Pick on Stamkos and St. Louis.  That sounds strange, but in their losing streak, Stamkos is a -8 despite contributing five points at even-strength.  That means he was on the ice for at least 13 goals against over the six games.  St. Louis isn't much better (at least 11 goals against).
  • Protect the goalie.  Expect the Bolts to be ferocious around the net in an effort to get on the board.
  • Keep going forward.  This is a great chance to build on the success of Friday night.  Start fast and don't look back.

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