Pittsburgh Penguins (22-6-4) at Tampa Bay Lightning (20-11-4)
|Date & Time||Tuesday December 23, 2014, 7:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning / Pittsburgh Penguins --- Over/Under:
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The Penguins look to shake off a shootout loss to the Panthers in Sunrise last night as they take on the Lightning in Tampa to complete their Florida road trip.
The Penguins lost a tough one via the shootout last night and it is games like that where you wish the skills competition was never introduced as it was a spectacular game between two Eastern Conference foes. The Penguins remain in top spot in the Eastern Conference by earning the single and now sit five points up on the Islanders for the division and conference lead with a slew of others right behind them. Pittsburgh is the latest team to have had to deal with the mumps outbreak sweeping across the league but they have managed it well and have performed on the ice despite being without some of its top players and with goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury having a career season it has all added up to a great start for one of the league's best teams. Fleury was between the pipes last night so we can expect Thomas Greiss to get the call here as he will likely go up against Andrei Vasilevsky who has been brilliant in relief of Ben Bishop for Tampa.
The Lightning were overtaken by the Canadiens for top spot in the Atlantic division by virtue of a tie breaker but they can reclaim it for their own with a win over the Penguins in this one in what should be a very exciting game between two of the league's best scoring teams. Tampa has been able to flourish this year with a number of pieces contributing offensively and Ben Bishop who has struggled with injuries has been stellar when healthy and they also have a strong recipe for success. Tampa looked very solid in the postseason last year and we knew they were going to be good again this year and a win over the Penguins here would go a long way in determining just how serious we will take this team and where we can expect to see them in a few months. This should be a great game and the line will change based on the starting goalies but either way I like it for Tampa as they try and exact revenge and send their fans home happy with a win.