|TBL||0||0||1||(0 - 0)||1|
|PIT||5||2||1||(0 - 0)||8|
Lightning (24-11-5, 53 points) at Penguins (25-12-3, 53 Points)
Last 10: Tampa Bay (8-1-1); Pittsburgh (5-4-1)
Season Series: The Lightning and Penguins will square off in the third of four meetings tonight. The two clubs split victories on Oct. 27 and Nov. 12 with each team winning a game in its home arena. The season series will wrap up with the final game on Mar. 31 in Tampa Bay.
The Big Story: Both teams come in with identical point totals and sit in the top spot of their respective divisions. The Lightning have gained points in six straight road games, with each of those contests being decided in either overtime or a shootout. After sharing the Southeast Division lead with the Capitals since the days leading up to Christmas, Tampa Bay pulled ahead with a 1-0 overtime win against Washington last night to take sole possession of first place.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay plays in the second half of a back-to-back set, as well as in the second contest of the team’s current four-game road trip. The Lightning sit alone at the top of the Southeast Division with a franchise-best 53 points in 40 games after defeating division-rival Washington 1-0 in overtime last night. Dwayne Roloson earned his 25th career shutout in his Lightning debut, stopping all 34 shots faced and leading the way for Martin St. Louis’ game-winning goal 2:54 into the extra period. Steve Downie returned to the lineup as well for Tampa Bay after missing 13 straight games. Tampa Bay looks to stay on its hot streak, coming into tonight with a record of 9-1-1 in its last 11 games.
PENGUINS – Pittsburgh hosts the Bolts in its final home game before traveling to Montreal to take on the Canadiens Thursday in the team’s latter contest of a back-to-back series. Sidney Crosby had 26 goals and 24 assists for 50 points over his 25-game streak, which came to an end on Dec. 29 against the Islanders. The Penguins have won only one of their last four games, but have remained above .500 with a record of 4-3-1 since a loss to the Flyers snapped their 12-game winning streak. Evgeni Malkin had 10 points in his first five games back from missing four contests with a knee injury, but he’s pointless in three of his last four games.
Who’s Hot: Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos has seven goals and 10 points in his last nine games, while Martin St. Louis has 14 points in his last nine as well. Sidney Crosby has four goals and three assists in his last five games for the Penguins.
Notable Quotable: “I'm really excited to be here. Sometimes you don't know what to expect walking into a new situation, but fortunately I know about five or six guys in here and coming into the locker room it felt like home right away. It’s a great bunch of guys and I’m really looking forward to it.” – Dwayne Roloson, following his first game, and victory, since joining the Lightning on Sunday
|M. St. Louis||41||17||34||51||+5||8||2||4|
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