Up next: Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, and the Tampa Bay Lightning

Record:  28-27-12 (10th in the East)

Scorers:  Martin St. Louis (24g, 57a), Steven Stamkos (42g, 38a), Vincent Lecavalier (19g, 41a)

Top GVT contributors (hey, I have to be a nerd sometimes):  Stamkos (18.3), St. Louis (15.1), Antero Niittymaki (8.8)

It's hard to know what to expect when the Penguins play the Lightning.  So far this season, the Penguins are 1-1-0 against the Lightning, with a 4-1 victory in which Antero Niittymaki played poorly, followed by a 3-1 loss in which Mike Smith was lights out.  This pretty much mirrors their historical record against Tampa Bay, 31-24-5.  Considering how often the Lightning didn't have much of a team and the Penguins still struggled with them, everything about the franchise series has been unpredictable.

The Penguins are coming off a loss to the Devils on Friday night while the Lightning, on the other hand, just polished off a 3-2 victory over the Southeast Division- and NHL-leading Washington Capitals.  Still, even though they are second in the Southeast, with their point total the Lightning would be fifth in every other division except the Pacific, where they'd be dead last.  One could say that they're being held down by six games against the Capitals; one could also bet that they're fattening up on the highly questionable teams they fight with, fruitlessly, over second place.

This game depends on which Penguins team shows up and which Evgeni Malkin shows up.  The lackluster one we saw on Friday, or the team we saw the prior Saturday that ripped the Dallas Stars a new one and the Malkin who got a hat trick against the Islanders in January.

As Frank would say, puck and thread drop at 5:00.  If you're in Pittsburgh, the game is on FSN even though it's a late afternoon game.

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