[SBN Lightning Blog - Raw Charge]
The Penguins return home today after a phenomenal record on the road to host the Tampa Bay Lightning. The last game the Pens played on Mellon Arena ice resulted in a 3-0 shutout loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. Seems so long ago. Oh, and need I remind the masses that Pittsburgh's own Ryan Malone will be joining the party? Hey you can even throw former Penguin and Stanley Cup winner Rick Tocchet into the mix as well (only he'll be doing his work from behind the bench).
The Lightning is off to a decent start. Actually the team is just about as .500 as you can get in hockey with a standing record of 2-2-2. Despite a roster that possesses the likes of Martin St. Louis, Steve Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier, Malone actually leads the team in goals right now with six. Of course three of them came in a 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes last week, but even still six goals over six games is nothing to take lightly.
We've seen the guy play. Clearing space in front of the crease is just about as effective a strategy as any against Malone.
Word around Raw Charge is that former Flyer backup Antero Niittymaki will get the start in net today. Nittymaki is 2-0 so far this season.
Keep your eyes on Martin St. Louis who leads the team with 10 points (3g, 7a), Vinny Lecavalier (no goals but five helpers) and of course, Mr. Malone. Even second overall draft pick Victor Hedman is worth watching, not only for a glimpse into the future of Tampa's blue line but also because he has four helpers over six games.
No word just yet if Marc-Andre Fleury gets the start tonight. However, seeing as how this isn't the first of a double-header and he's still the guy with the hot glove I don't see why he wouldn't get the nod.