Round 1: Tampa Bay Lightning Preview

by: The PensNation Staff

Penguins Lightning
49-25-8 46-25-11

Tampa Bay has 2 offensive top lines with big time goal scorers, their first line consists of Philly castoff and Penguins killer Simon Gagne on the left side, former first overall pick and Sidney Crosby wannabe Steven Stamkos down the middle, and former Penguins cast off and overpayed right winger Ryan Malone. Their second line consists of former 52 goal scorer centerman Vincent Lecavlier whom is flanked by the always dangerous Martin St. Louis who finished the season with 99 points (31G-68A) and Teddy Purcell who finished up the season with 51 points. The Tampa offense likes to make alot of cross ice one-time passes and there is no better goaltender at defending these than Marc-Andre Fleury and as long as the Penguins defense stick to their system and game plan they should have no problem defending this or anything the Lightning bring to the table.

Defensively Tampa Bay is pretty suspect having the worst goal differential in the league and were outscored 17-9 by the Penguins alone. The defensive corps consists of former Blue Eric Brewer, Victor Hedman who can't defend himself and won't hit you unless your back is turned. It just gets worse from there Pavel Kubina has seen much better years, I believe he was sat at one point this year because of lack of production, also Mattias Ohlund whom hasn't scored a goal in 2 years I think Eric Godard has more goals in that time than he does. Now we all know the Penguins have been somewhat offensively challenged without the likes of Sideny Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in the lineup, but with players like Jordan Staal, Tyler Kennedy whom has stepped up recently, Alexei Kovalev, James Neal, Mark Letestu, and many others who are capable of chipping in goals. Look for players like Mike Comrie and Pascal Dupuis to have some big goals especially with a well rested and ready to prove something Mike Comrie.

Goaltending wise they are pretty suspect with Dwanye Roloson who has been hit or miss since coming over from the Islanders in January and Mike Smith who started off hot with 4-0 record and finished with a 12-6-1 and coming off a 41 save performance against the Hurricanes. Both goaltenders were torched for 5 goals a piece by the Penguins this season. The Penguins on the other hand have a solid 1-2 punch in Marc-Andre Fleury and Brent Johnson. After MAF started the season off slow Johnny stepped in and held down the fort above and beyod what was expected, since getting his legs back Flower has been solid between the pipes and a major reason why the Pens are in the position they are in going into the playoffs.

Game 1 Wednesday, April 13 at Pittsburgh, 7:00 p.m. ROOT Sports
Game 2 Friday, April 15 at Pittsburgh, 7:00 p.m. ROOT Sports
Game 3 Monday, April 18 at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m. ROOT Sports
Game 4 Wednesday, April 20 at Tampa Bay, 7:00 p.m. ROOT Sports
Game 5 *Saturday, April 23 at Pittsburgh, TBD ROOT Sports
Game 6 *Monday, April 25 at Tampa Bay, TBD ROOT Sports
Game 7 *Wednesday, April 27 at Pittsburgh, TBD ROOT Sports

Let's Do This.