Mar 4, 2013, 8:03 AM EST
NBCSN’s ongoing coverage of the 2013 campaign will continue tonight when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Consol Energy Center at 7:30 p.m. ET.
If there’s one thing these two teams have excelled at this season, it’s finding the back of the net. Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh rank first and second respectively in goals per game and only one other team, the Anaheim Ducks, even comes close to matching these two offensive titans.
Of course, it helps that Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay also have the top two offensive threats in the league.
Sidney Crosby, with his concussion problems behind him, has only been held off the scoresheet in five of Pittsburgh’s 22 games. He leads the league in points with 34 and has an incredible 27 points in his last 15 contests.
Steven Stamkos is slightly behind Crosby in total points, but there has been no goal scorer more effective than Stamkos this season. The 23-year-old forward has found the back of the net in seven of his last eight games and leads the league with 15 goals in just 21 contests. If this were a full 82-game campaign, then that pace would put Stamkos just shy of his second straight 60-goal campaign.
While Stamkos and Crosby can be counted as elites, only one of their respective teams deserves the same level of praise. The Pittsburgh Penguins rank second in the Eastern Conference while the Tampa Bay Lightning hold the 13th seed with a 9-11-1 record.
After goaltending issues sunk Tampa Bay last season, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman made a major effort to address that need over the summer. The centerpiece of those efforts was his acquisition of Anders Lindback from the Nashville Predators.
24-year-old Lindback had been a solid backup for the Predators for a couple years and seemed ready to take the next step. However, so far he’s struggled and appears to have at least temporarily lost the starting gig to Mathieu Garon, who will make his fourth straight start tonight, according to the Tampa Bay Times’ Damian Cristodero.
Unfortunately for the Lightning, Garon has a 1-4-0 record with a 4.28 GAA in six career games against the Penguins.
Tampa Bay is hungry to end their four-game losing streak, but Pittsburgh isn’t a team that can be easily overwhelmed through offensive might alone. Garon and the Lightning’s defense will need to step up to the daunting task of trying to contain Crosby and the Penguins.
Probable goaltenders: TBL – Garon (2-7-0, 2.86 GAA, .911 SV%) | PIT – Marc-Andre Fleury (10-5-0, 2.40 GAA, .912 SV%)
Top scorers: TBL – Stamkos (15-17-32, 21 GP) | PIT – Crosby (10-24-34, 22 GP)
Tampa Bay – Forwards: Benoit Pouliot (upper body), Ryan Malone (lower body) Defensemen: Mattias Ohlund (knee), Sami Salo (lower body)
Pittsburgh – Forwards: Evgeni Malkin (concussion) Defensemen: Paul Martin (lower body)
Nov 21, 2014, 12:17 PM EST
No disrespect to Mike Fisher intended.
Nov 21, 2014, 12:15 PM EST
“Your fingers do have a pulse in them and it does hurt.”
Nov 21, 2014, 11:49 AM EST
As part of a rental storage facility scheme.
Nov 21, 2014, 11:10 AM EST
Bit of a Rockford influence on the roster right now.
Nov 21, 2014, 10:43 AM EST
He, along with Jean Beliveau, are the longest-tenured captains in franchise history.
Nov 21, 2014, 10:25 AM EST
Never a dull moment in Toronto.
Nov 21, 2014, 10:21 AM EST
That’s a marginally higher cap hit than Bobby Ryan and David Krejci will get in 2015-16.
Nov 21, 2014, 9:56 AM EST
They’ll talk about it more next week.
Nov 21, 2014, 8:58 AM EST
He’s been great offensively, but he isn’t one of the league’s scoring leaders.
Nov 21, 2014, 8:00 AM EST
We also got footage of the Oilers accidentally playing shorthanded.
Nov 21, 2014, 2:30 AM EST
Former Canucks first rounder made his return to Vancouver Thursday.
Nov 21, 2014, 1:45 AM EST
Philadelphia falls 3-2 to Minnesota.
Nov 21, 2014, 1:10 AM EST
Could’ve tied the game 2-2.
Nov 21, 2014, 1:00 AM EST
Chicago edged Calgary 4-3.
Nov 21, 2014, 12:30 AM EST
Were out-scored 15-4 in two losses.
Nov 20, 2014, 11:32 PM EST
Caps win 3-2.
Nov 20, 2014, 10:46 PM EST
Suffered a jaw injury and will not return.
Nov 20, 2014, 10:29 PM EST
Team is calling it a lower body injury. He will not return.
Nov 20, 2014, 10:26 PM EST
He spent 10 seasons in Vancouver.
Nov 20, 2014, 10:10 PM EST
Has his fourth of the season.
- The Leafs didn’t salute their fans last night, so that’s a thing now 22
- Dallas signs Jason Spezza to four-year, $30 million extension 10
- Video: Ovechkin with an unreal dangle, scores game-winner 14
- Video: Avs’ Tanguay takes Ovechkin shot to the face (Updated) 4
- Video: Lindros and LeClair inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame 12
- BREAKING: Voynov charged with felony for domestic violence 31
- NHL responds to concussion lawsuit, says players should have ‘put two and two together’ 40
- (Video) PHT Extra: Carlyle’s on the hot seat, Hartley’s riding high 0
- Hextall launched profanity-laced tirade against Flyers last night 34
- Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him 56
- Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him (56)
- Wild put Harding on waivers (Updated) (52)
- After Voynov suspension, Lombardi wonders if teams need a ‘cushion’ in case a player is a ‘bank robber, kleptomaniac’ (51)
- Video: Malkin runs over Girardi (Updated) (41)
- NHL responds to concussion lawsuit, says players should have ‘put two and two together’ (40)