Skip to content

NHL on NBCSN: Lightning’s Stamkos continues scoring race vs Penguins

Apr 11, 2013, 8:04 AM EDT

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 4: Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning reacts to his goal with Martin St. Louis #26 in front of Marc-Andre Fleury #29 and Joe Vitale #46 of the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 4, 2013 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

NBCSN’s ongoing coverage of the 2013 campaign will continue tonight when the Tampa Bay Lightning host the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Tampa Bay Times Forum at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Perhaps the scariest part about the Pittsburgh Penguins this season is that they’re still a threat to win even with some of their big names injured. James Neal and Sidney Crosby are out, but the Penguins still have Evgeni Malkin and Jarome Iginla.

They played their previous five contests without defensemen Paul Martin or Kris Letang and they still won three of those matches.

At this point, Pittsburgh has already locked up its division and the only question is if it can claim the first seed.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay is out of the playoff race, but that doesn’t mean this game is pointless. This will be a key test for goaltender Ben Bishop as the Lightning see if he can be just as successful with them as he was with Ottawa.

The Lightning traded away Calder Trophy candidate Cory Conacher to get Bishop and so far the move has paid off. However, Pittsburgh will arguably be his greatest challenge yet.

Bishop has only played against the Penguins once before and he was yanked halfway through that contest after allowing three goals on 20 shots.

This is also another key game in the Rocket Richard Trophy race. Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos is tied with Alex Ovechkin at 26 goals each. Stamkos has played in one less game, but given how hot Ovechkin has been lately, he needs every advantage he can get.

With 50 points, Stamkos is also attempting to surpass the injured Crosby and potentially win his first Art Ross Trophy. His teammate Martin St. Louis is also a candidate for the Art Ross Trophy with 49 points. St. Louis hasn’t won the award since 2003–04, so it would be special to see the 37-year-old reclaim it after that long of a gap.

Beyond that, the Penguins are going to battle hard in this game. Even if they don’t have much left to compete for from a seeding perspective, they want to avoid a third consecutive first-round exit. They can help prevent that by building momentum that they can carry into the playoffs.

At that point, they might have all their big-name players back and the Penguins will look even more dangerous…

Probable goaltenders: PIT – Marc-Andre Fleury (20-6-0, 2.31 GAA, .917 SV%) | TBL – Bishop (10-7-0, 2.35 GAA, .928 SV%)

Top scorers: PIT – Crosby (15-41-56, 36 GP) | TBL – Stamkos (26-24-50, 39 GP)

Notable Injuries:
Pittsburgh – Forwards: Neal (concussion), Crosby (jaw) Defensemen: Martin (hand), Letang (toe/groin – might return tonight)
Tampa Bay – Defensemen: Victor Hedman (lower body), Mattias Ohlund (knee) Goaltenders: Anders Lindback (ankle)

Latest Posts
  1. Video: Filppula, Stamkos score two big goals for Bolts

    May 24, 2015, 9:36 PM EDT

    filppulagetty Getty Images

    The Lightning are 7-0 when scoring the first goal in the playoffs.

  2. Blackhawks’ Bickell says wear-and-tear goes both ways

    May 24, 2015, 9:15 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Three Getty Images

    Blocking shots can be a grind, too, after all.

  3. Report: Blues will stick with Hitchcock ‘barring anything dramatic’

    May 24, 2015, 7:37 PM EDT

    Chicago Blackhawks v St Louis Blues Getty Images

    No clarification on what would qualify as “dramatic.”

  4. Franson on free agency: ‘I’m hopeful that Toronto’s in the mix’

    May 24, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT

    cody franson

    Things weren’t a “perfect fit” for the blue liner in Nashville.

  5. Report: Oilers’ Nelson given permission to explore other opportunities

    May 24, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    Todd Nelson Todd Nelson

    He coached Edmonton to a 17-25-9 record after Dallas Eakins was fired in December.

  6. Report: Dubnyk, Wild to begin contract talks this week

    May 24, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Two Getty Images

    He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

  7. Bolts’ Carle available for Game 5

    May 24, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Matt Carle Getty Images

    He missed Game 4 due to an undisclosed injury.

  8. Report: Bylsma to meet with Sabres this week

    May 24, 2015, 10:46 AM EDT

    Dan Bylsma Dan Bylsma

    He has not coached since being fired by the Penguins last June.

  9. Pens looking to acquire a first round pick

    May 24, 2015, 9:43 AM EDT

    2014 NHL Draft - Round 2-7 2014 NHL Draft - Round 2-7

    GM Jim Rutherford has already begun talking with teams, which have multiple selections in the Top 30.

Featured video

Babcock has his work cut out in Toronto
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. T. Johnson (1738)
  2. S. Stamkos (1669)
  3. N. Horton (1496)
  4. K. Versteeg (1416)
  5. P. Kane (1401)