Tampa Bay Lightning (19-9-3) at Pittsburgh Penguins (19-6-4)
|Date & Time||Monday December 15, 2014, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Pittsburgh Penguins / Tampa Bay Lightning --- Over/Under:
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The Lightning and Penguins do battle in Pittsburgh on Monday night in what many predict will be a preview of the Eastern Conference finals.
The Lightning look to get back in the win column after sustaining their ninth loss of the season in their last outing and the league's best offense will take their scoring touch into Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins. The Bolts look as though they have been pushed over the edge this season and broken through as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender as they look to claim their first league championship since 2004 and with the way their offense and goaltending has been this season there are very few reasons to doubt they can do it. Tampa Bay will face off against a Sidney Crosby-less Penguins side who the league's poster boy is out with the mumps – something that has swept through the league this season and they'll look to take full advantage of his absence. Ben Bishop will be in goal for Tampa as he will go up against Marc-Andre Fleury.
The Penguins have been the class of the Metro division so far this season as many expected they would but they have company this year as the Islanders are charging hard and the Rangers are starting to get healthy and are playing much better of late. Pittsburgh is still the team to beat and will be considered as such until they lose the crown and when Crosby is in the lineup there are very few teams who would feel confident in going up against the Penguins especially in Pittsburgh. However, without Crosby I think it gives a lot of wiggle room for the Lightning to work with and with Stamkos and gang holding on to the game's top rated offense I think they have more than a realistic chance of winning this game and with the line set to adjust I say jump on Tampa Bay here as I think they get the victory.