Sunday, February 12, 2012

Game #56 - vs Tampa Bay Lightning

2011-12 Game 56

Tampa Bay Lightning (24-24-6, 52 points) at Pittsburgh Penguins (31-19-5, 67 points)

Ryan hasn't played since January 21st at Phoenix.  He has an upper-body injury.

Why does it matter?

The Bolts are playing pretty well at the moment.  They just won yesterday in Buffalo, and they've improved slightly on their completely terrible record away from home.  The Pens need to beat these guys.  Any team that plays such a sleep-inducing trap deserves to lose every game.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - A sloppy win over the Jets vaulted the Pens over New Jersey and within two points of Philly in the division.
  • Lightning - 2-1-2 over their past five, which is a nice way of saying they've lose three of their past five games.
Questions to be answered
  • Can the team improve on the defensive end?  They can't count on a team being a porous as the Jets were yesterday.
  • Will we see Brent Johnson?  After Flower allowed five yesterday, it wouldn't surprise me.  HCDB has said it would be a game-time decision.
  • Who will watch Stamkos?  He's heating up again.  He has 37 goals on the season, and 31 of those are at even-strength.
Keys to the game
  • Slow down Vinny and Marty - they always seem to kill the Pens.
  • Keep things tighter.  The Bolts will convert the glorious scoring chances that the Jets were unable to convert yesterday.

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