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Lightning puts winning streak on the line at Pittsburgh

Friday, 03.21.2014 / 8:11 PM

Missy Zielinski - Lightning Beat Reporter

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Lightning puts winning streak on the line at Pittsburgh
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

LIGHTNING (39-24-7) vs. PENGUINS (45-19-5)

TV/Radio:

SUN, NHLN-US; AM 970 WFLA

Last 10: Tampa Bay 5-3-2; Pittsburgh 5-4-1

Season Series:

The Lightning have lost both prior meetings to the Pittsburgh Penguins this campaign, being outscored 8-4 in those games. The Saturday matinee is the lone contest at CONSOL Energy Center and the last game between the two clubs this season.

Big Story:

A victory Saturday for the Bolts would mean six straight wins and points in eight consecutive games for the first time since the 2010-11 season (December 10-December 26). It would also be Tampa Bay's 20th road win of the year, a mark they have only reached three times in franchise history.

Team Scope:

LIGHTNING –The Lightning have taken off since ending a slump last week and that has included collecting points in seven straight games (5-0-2). The recent success has helped them reach second place in the Atlantic Division standings, two points ahead of the Montreal Canadiens, with one game in hand.

While the return of Steven Stamkos and his five goals in eight games has most certainly played a factor, the consistency on offense has also spread across each of the lines. Thirteen different Bolts have contributed at least one goal over the Lightning's last five games.

"You can't rely on the same guys day-in and day-out," head coach Jon Cooper said. "We keep getting goals from different players."

Wrapping up their longest remaining road trip of their season slate Saturday in Pittsburgh, the Bolts will play eight of their final 11 at home.

PENGUINS – Losers in three out of their last four games, the Penguins have fallen behind the Boston Bruins for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and have a hefty lineup of opponents in front of them.

Pittsburgh opens a four-game homestand with the Lightning this weekend and the matchup could be a good starting point for the Penguins, who have defeated the Bolts six consecutive times at home. They then face three playoff contenders in the West – the St. Louis Blues, Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings.

Who's Hot:

Center Valtteri Filppula has three goals and eight assists amidst a career-high seven-game point streak. Filppula also tied a career-high for goals (23) in Thursday's win over Ottawa. Tyler Johnson has amassed nine points over his past nine games and is one goal shy of tying Steven Stamkos' Lightning rookie record of 23 goals in a season (2008-09).

Injury Report:

Lightning – D Brian Lee (knee, out); Penguins – F Beau Bennett (wrist, out), F Chris Conner (hand, out), F Pascal Dupuis (knee, out), D Kris Letang (stroke, out), D Paul Martin (hand, out), G Tomas Vokoun (blood clot, out)

2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 22 '14TBL 3 at PIT 4 - OTJ. Neal
Nov 29 '13PIT 3 at TBL 0C. Kunitz
Oct 12 '13PIT 5 at TBL 4M. Niskanen
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. St. Louis62293261+12695
V. Filppula66242953+41862
O. Palat71193049+271812
T. Johnson71222446+192253
V. Hedman64113546+74722
T. Purcell71122840+31434
A. Killorn71152338+105722
S. Stamkos26201232+121264
R. Callahan54131730-22253
M. Carle7122729+162210
R. Gudas6231619+413411
J. Brown5241216-4600
S. Salo6231316+111600
N. Thompson709615+52501
N. Kucherov418715+31033
R. Malone515914-45900
E. Brewer6611213+55700
R. Panik452911-101500
M. Barberio475510+122810
B. Crombeen513710+27901
M. Kostka20448+8801
T. Pyatt22347+0401
A. Sustr38077+41200
J. Cote19044+02200
B. Connolly11101-5401
K. Aulie14011-2900
D. Korobov3011+0200
P. Labrie13000-42000
D. Tyrell7000+0400
M. Taormina7000+0000
V. Namestnikov4000-1400
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
B. Bishop5534-11-611415602.17.927
A. Lindback205-12-2615013.26.878
C. Desjardins10-1-02136.67.846
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
S. Crosby70346094+1040115
E. Malkin59234972+115873
C. Kunitz68323062+2560138
J. Neal47232952+154994
J. Jokinen70173350+111444
M. Niskanen70103141+324736
L. Stempniak61102030-203000
O. Maatta6991928+81431
M. Goc71111324-73501
B. Sutter70111324-21211
P. Dupuis3971320+6800
K. Letang3410818-61461
J. Vitale5311314-12901
B. Gibbons294913+4210
B. Orpik6221113-14600
T. Glass554812-78100
P. Martin3321012-1801
D. Engelland496511-45001
C. Adams704610-103800
J. Megna26538+2202
R. Bortuzzo44088-56300
C. Conner19415-3200
S. Despres28044+32200
T. Pyatt46213-231811
B. Bennett12123+0000
R. Scuderi41033-4000
C. Kobasew32202+11502
H. Zolnierczyk11202+0800
D. Jeffrey10011-2200
M. D'Agostini8011-1400
A. Ebbett7011-1000
B. Dumoulin6011+1400
Z. Sill20000-41200
P. Samuelsson5000-1000
P. Letourneau-Leblond1000+0000
N. Drazenovic1000-1200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Fleury5534-15-412915142.39.915
J. Zatkoff1712-4-1424972.55.915