For as much as Penguins fans have complained about the injury situation this season, we can at least be thankful that our stars have remained healthy. The same can’t be said for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Steven Stamkos is missing a significant amount of time with a broken leg. However, the Lightning have found a way to continue winning without him. And they’re still scoring a ton of goals while they do it.
That’s bad news for the Pens because they haven’t had the easiest time preventing goals lately. Rob Scuderi is still missing with a broken angle and Paul Martin is now out with a broken leg. Combine that with the recent struggles of Marc-Andre Fleury and he Pens have found themselves in a lot of high scoring contests including their 6-5 shootout win against the Maple Leafs on Wednesday.
Another high scoring affair is sure to be in store for this afternoon contest because the loss of Stamkos has hardly slowed down the Lightning offense. They have won their first two of a three game homestand scoring four and five goals respectively in those wins. The latest offensive hero for the Lightning has been defenseman Victor Hedman who scored two goals against the Flyers.
It’s not nearly as hard to find where the offensive production is coming from for the Penguins. After a long goal scoring drought, Evgeni Malkin is catching fire after scoring two goals and ending the game in the shootout on Wednesday. James Neal has had multiple points in each of his last five games. Oh, and Sidney Crosby. I heard he’s pretty good at hockey.
The goaltending situation certainly favors the Lightning at this point. Fleury has given up 10 goals in his past three starts and he didn’t even make it out of the first minute of the second period on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Ben Bishop is on first for the Lightning. He’s given up one goal in his past two starts.
The Penguins will be looking to keep their streak alive against the Lightning. Tampa Bay hasn’t beaten Pittsburgh in almost two years. The last win that the Lightning had against them was January 15, 2012. In the two teams’ last meeting, Crosby had a hat trick in a 5-4 win for the Pens.