Penguins

Shea-ved Ice: Lightning Vs. Penguins Preview

By: Casey Shea
(Photo Credit: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins nearly burned the goal lights out during an 8-5 win over the Jets Saturday afternoon.

Now, they will look to keep the momentum going tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Pittsburgh fell behind 2-0 early, but four unanswered goals by Dustin Jeffrey, James Neal, Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang put the Penguins ahead for good.

Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and Richard Park also scored for the Penguins.

The win over the Jets vaulted the Penguins over New Jersey in the standings and pulled them within two points of the Flyers.

Malkin finished the game with a goal and four assists to give him 67 points this season. He is now five points ahead of Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux and Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos in the NHL scoring race.

His goal was also the 30th of the season

Speaking of Tampa Bay, they enter tonight’s contest on a high note having earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

Mathieu Garon (17-13-4, 2.85 GAA, .902 save percentage) stopped 26 shots to make first period goals by Steve Downie and Stamkos hold up.

In addition to leading his team in points with 62, Stamkos is leading the league in goals with 37.

Martin St. Louis is second on the team in points with 50 (16 goals, 34 assists).

Vincent Lecavalier seems to be back on track this season with 45 points (21 goals, 24 assists) in 54 games.

Currently, the Lightning (24-24-6, 54 points) are eight points out of a playoff spot. Their main struggles this season appear to be in goal.

Dwayne Roloson is only 7-11-2 with a 3.62 GAA and a .881 save percentage this season.

It is unknown if Roloson or Garon will be in net against the Penguins at this point.

Against Pittsburgh, Roloson is 5-5-2 with a 3.15 GAA and .900 save percentage, while Garon is 1-2 with a 4.88 GAA and .867 save percentage.

For Pittsburgh, it is not yet known if Marc-Andre Fleury (29-13-3, 2.35 GAA, .911 save percentage) will start on back-to-back days or if Brent Johnson (2-6-2, 3.10 GAA, .885 save percentage) will get the nod tonight.

Against Tampa Bay, Fleury is 10-10-3 with a 2.43 GAA and .910 save percentage, while Johnson is 7-2-2 with one tie to go along with a 2.52 GAA and a .915 save percentage.

If history holds true, Malkin may very well add to his point total tonight.

In 20 career games against Tampa Bay, Malkin has nine goals and 10 assists.

Nine of those assists came on the power play.

This will be the third meeting between the teams this season. The teams split the previous two games in Tampa Bay.

The Bolts won 4-1 on Nov. 17 and the Penguins won the most recent game 6-3 on Jan. 15.

The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. and you can watch the game on Root Sports.

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sheavedice

For More Penguins Coverage Check Out Puck Talk With Popchock.

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