Sunday, February 24, 2013

Penguins Game 19 Preview - vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning

7:30 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Last Penguins Game:
February 22, 2013 - Pittsburgh 3, Florida 1 [Recap]

The Penguins got back in the win column but suffered a pretty big loss in the process. They beat the Panthers 3-1 on Friday night but Evgeni Malkin got banged up in a pretty ugly play where he went back first into the end boards and his head whipped back and smacked off the boards. Pretty much anyone that is not a doctor thinks this is concussion city but evidently he hasn't experienced any symptoms but isn't going to play tonight and will be reevaluated.

A story ran yesterday that Malkin was experiencing some headaches and disorientation but this is what Dan Bylsma said today after the morning skate (via the Penguins website):

"(Malkin) will continue to be evaluated by our doctors tonight before the game," Bylsma said. "At this point in time we have not ruled out an concussion. I am happy to report that he has not been suffering from headaches or disorientation."

Oh.

With Geno out the lines are going to look a lot different for the game. James Neal is going to get bumped up to play with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz. Bennett finally gets to play on the second line but still gets to play with Brandon Sutter and now Pascal Dupuis. Dustin Jeffrey is in the lineup which is a good thing. Like what he brings to the table.

Marc Andre Fleury will be in net and he has been really good this month. In six of his last eight starts he has given up two or less goals and in the other two instances he has only given up three goals so things have been going really well for him. He will get a really good test against a pretty good Lightning team. Steve Stamkos has an excellent shot and can score any time he is on the ice while the second line boasts Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis who aren't really the players they used to be but can still make a difference.

The Lightning have scored a ton of goals this season. They have a league-best 66 goals and score almost four goals per game. The Penguins average the second most goals per game so if the goaltending isn't up to par in this game we could see a high scoring affair. What is interesting that while Tampa Bay scores a ton of goals they don't register a lot of shots. They rank 24th in the league only getting 27.5 shots per game and give up better than 31 a game. I guess that means their shots are accurate.

The Tampa Bay power play is pretty good clicking at 23.2% and when they do get the power play you have to pay attention to Stamkos on the half wall. Much like Alex Ovechkin he like to use the one time shot which is lethal.


Probables

Penguins (12-6-0) (via Penguins website)

Forwards
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - James Neal
Beau Bennett - Brandon Sutter - Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke - Dustin Jeffrey - Tyler Kennedy
Tanner Glass - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams

Defense
Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin
Matt Niskanen - Kris Letang
Deryk Engelland - Simon Despres

Goaltender
Marc Andre Fleury


Lightning (9-7-1) (via Daily Faceoff)

Forwards
Cory Conacher - Steven Stamkos - Teddy Purcell
Benoit Pouliot - Vincent Lecavalier - Martin St. Louis
Alex Killorn - Tom Pyatt - Nate Thompson
B.J. Crombeen - Brian Lee - Richard Panik

Defense
Eric Brewer - Matt Carle
Sami Salo - Victor Hedman
Keith Aulie - Marc-Andre Bergeron

Goaltender
Anders Lindback


The Last Time They Met:

February 25, 2012 - Pittsburgh 8, Tampa Bay 1

The Stats:

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