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Penguins Game Day (Game: 19 Lightning)

bolts

Tonight the Penguins welcome the Tampa Bay Lightning to the CONSOL Energy Center in their first of three meetings this season.

The Lightning lead the Southeast Division with 19 points despite losing 7 of their last 10 games. Steven Stamkos has taken the league lead in scoring with 12 goals and 26 points. Tampa Bay has won 3 of their last 4 games two of which were road games.

Pittsburgh is coming off a costly win against the Florida Panthers that saw Star Center Evgeni Malkin slide into the boards awkwardly. Malkin is now experiencing concussion like symptoms and is ruled out for tonight’s game against the Bolts. Sidney Crosby who was held pointless in Fridays game is tied for second in the league in scoring.

Game Time: 7:30 pm est

Tampa Bay(9-7-1) @ Pittsburgh(12-6-0)

What to Watch For

Brandon Sutter will take on the duties of second line center while Malkin is out.  Dan Bylsma stated that he will be Centering James Neal and Beau Bennett.

There is no better pure Goal Scorer in the NHL than Steven Stamkos. He plays a very strong in your face type of game, and is never afraid to go where he needs to to get a goal. Look for him to be the impact player for the Bolts.

Victor Hedman leads the Bolts defense in scoring with 4 goals and 9 points, though not the most offensively talented blue liner he is one guy to watch, game in an game out. At 6’6” and 233 lbs he is one defender that players try to avoid.

Currently on a four game point streak Kris Letang will look to make and impact for the Penguins tonight on the score sheet. Letang is currently in a three way tie for second in the league in scoring for defensemen, 3 goals and 13 points.

Starting Goaltenders

Tampa: Anders Lindback, 7-4-1  (unconfirmed)

Pittsburgh: Marc Andre Fleury, 9-3-0 (unconfirmed)

Penguins Buzz

After the nasty run into the boards on Friday, Evgeni Malkin will continue to be evaluated. It is believed he has been experiencing concussion like symptoms such as severe headaches and disorientation. Triblive.com

**Update ** Dan Bylsma confirmed that Malkin hasn’t suffered from headaches or disorientation at any point in time since hitting the boards

Defenseman Mark Eaton has been skating with the Penguins during practices for almost a week now. Some believe it is only a matter of time before he is signed to a contract. Timesonline.com

Around the League

Realignment talks have heated up, but it is still unsure when anything will be announced. Some think it could be as soon as this week while others believe it is still ways away. It does seem the league is still pushing the 4 Conference lay out (Two 8 team conferences and Two 7 team). While the NHLPA was against it for many reasons last time it was proposed, it seems the NHL is making sure all the details are laid out this time. sports.yahoo.com

Rumor is spreading that the NHL may be looking at multiple outdoor games next season including the January 1st Winter Classic. Cities such as New York (Yankee Stadium) and L.A (Dodger Stadium) have been discussed. It seems it all boils down to the league making back some of the revenue lost due to the shortened season of 2013. TheFourthPeriod.com

Other Games Tonight

Bruins @ Panther  /  Canucks @ Red Wings

Jets @ Devils  /  Hurricanes @ Islanders

Blue Jackets @ Blackhawks  /  Avalanche @ Ducks

Coyotes @ Flames

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Slavinsky

Pittsburgh Penguins writer for hockeytracker.net. Since my childhood I have followed hockey, from the years of The Great One up to The Next One I have followed the fastest sport on ice. Growing up in Pittsburgh PA, I have had the privilege to witness some of Hockey's Greats. Since the days of Le Magnifique no other team in Pittsburgh has mattered to me but the Penguins.