Game 23 Preview: Lightning Vs. Penguins
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins return home tonight after winning the final leg of a three-game road trip.
On Saturday, defense was optional for both clubs in a game where the last shot truly did win the game. Brandon Sutter buried a chance from the slot in overtime to give the Penguins a 7-6 win over the Montreal Canadiens.
After allowing 16 goals on the three-game trip, the Penguins will look to be more responsible in their own end when they play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight.
Tampa Bay is currently in third place in the Southeast Division, just two points behind the Winnipeg Jets and six points behind the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Lightning are 3-6-1 in their last 10 and are on a four-game losing streak, which began against the Penguins on Feb. 24.
Steven Stamkos continues to lead the way and his 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists) are just two behind Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead.
Martin St. Louis isn’t far behind with 26 points and leads the team with 21 assists.
In goal, Anders Lindback (7-4-1, 3.27 GAA, .890 save percentage) hasn’t seen the ice since he was pulled after allowing three goals on 10 shots against the Penguins.
Mathieu Garon (2-7-0, 2.86 GAA, .911 save percentage) has taken the loss in each of Tampa Bay’s games during this four-game losing streak.
In six games against the Penguins, Garon is 1-4 with a 4.28 GAA and .878 save percentage.
For Pittsburgh, it appeared that they would once again be without Evgeni Malkin due to a concussion suffered on Feb. 22. However, he did practice with the team on Sunday and participated in the team’s morning skate today and will play tonight against Tampa Bay.
However, Pittsburgh will be without defenseman Paul Martin for the second straight game. Martin is dealing with a lower-body injury.
Chris Kunitz has quietly crept up the leader board in the NHL’s scoring race and is currently tied for third with 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists).
Marc-Andre Fleury (10-5-0, 2.40 GAA, .912 save percentage) figures to be back in goal tonight after being given the night off on Sunday.
Against the Lightning, Fleury is 12-10-3 with a 2.40 GAA and .912 save percentage.
The puck is set to drop at 7:30 p.m. and you can watch it on Root Sports.