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Penguins vs Lightning Open Thread 3-20-08

Pittsburgh Penguins (41-25-7) vs Tampa Bay Lightning (29-36-8)
In Pittsburgh at 7:30 PM
Watch on FSN/Center Ice or listen live at

Sid was back on the ice in practice this morning, but reports are saying he'll definitely sit out this weekend.  His first game back will either be (tentatively) against the Islanders on Monday or the Devils on Tuesday.

Speaking of - the Devils and Rangers went to a shootout last night, whereby the Rangers edged it out.  Fortunately the Devils' attempt at securing a steadier hold on the conference was stifled, but they still got the pity point.  New York has moved within two points of Pitt and four with New Jersey.  The race is getting tight as the games begin to wind down.

The Penguins are going to have to hit the gas here if they really want to win the Division and Conference.  They play the Rangers two more times, the Devils twice, the Islanders twice and Philly twice.  In other words, after tonight's game against Tampa everything is contingent within the division.  As many may know, the Pens haven't faired well in two categories this season: on the road and against division rivals.

Regardless, a win tonight in Tampa is huge, as is every game from hereon in.  

Fleury's between the pipes tonight after Conklin's not so stellar job against the Rangers Tuesday.  Laraque finishes up his suspension tonight and should be eligible for play come Saturday against the Devils.  I hope this suspension doesn't inadvertently tame him.

No - it won't.

The Pens are coming down the stretch and things are going to get hectic.  Amazingly all of the remaining games for each team in the Atlantic Division are against team within the division.  Lunacy.

Do it Pens.