The first loss of the season against a Florida Panthers team that the Penguins inexplicably always struggle against taught us a few things. First, Jeff Zatkoff is not very good. Second, the Pens need to teach themselves how to play from behind. And third, Craig Adams is scoring 82 goals this year.
Coming off of a defensive disaster isn’t very encouraging considering the Tampa Bay Lightning are coming off of an offensive explosion. Oddly, it came against the same team. The Lightning pounded the Panthers 7-2 in their last game which included a hat trick from Steven Stamkos. The good news for the Pens is that they have a history of holding Stamkos in check.
The Penguins have won the past six games between these two teams which have been led by some dominating play by Evgeni Malkin. The Lightning will be looking to win their fourth straight game overall which is something that the Pens failed to do last night.
Marc-Andre Fleury will be back in the net for the Penguins. Fleury has great career numbers against the Lightning and has won the last four times he’s faced them. It’s a question mark as to who the Lightning will start in goal. Their number one goaltender, Ben Bishop, got hurt against the Panthers which is good news for the Pens. Bishop had been playing just as well and maybe better than Fleury to start the season. If he can’t go, Anders Lindback will be in net.
The Penguins have been beneficiaries of a good amount of secondary scoring to start the season but expect the superstars to shine tonight. Evgeni Malkin has 10 goals and four assists in his last five games against the Lightning while Sidney Crosby has also scored in five straight games in the series.