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Florida Men; the Pens need to be wary of sunny trip

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The Pittsburgh Penguins are off to Florida for a weekend in the sun. But they need to beware, given recent results on this trip

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Penguins often make a swing to Florida to play both teams, the Tampa Bay Lighting and Florida Panthers and they'll make another such trip this weekend to play those teams on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Be it the sun, or often times back-to-back situations, the trip hasn't gone well recently, take last year where the Pens made the same journey they're about to go on.

Date Opponent Result
12/22/14 @Florida 4-3 SO L
12/23/14 @Tampa 4-3 L
10/11/2014 @Florida 6-3 L
10/12/2014 @Tampa 5-4 W

Another reason for concern: both these teams are really good this year. Tampa (9-1-0 in the last 10) are probably the hottest team in the East right now, their only loss coming ironically to their neighbors to the south in the Panthers. Tampa just won 3-1 over Detroit last night and are solidly in the playoff picture right now.

Perhaps the best kept secret this year in the NHL is the strength of those Panthers, now in 1st place in the Atlantic division. They have won 4 games in a row, including impressive wins over Chicago (4-0), the aforementioned Lightning (5-2) and Washington (5-2). They also have the advantage over Pittsburgh to not play on Friday.

The Pens are feeling pretty good about themselves on a season-high 4 game winning streak, however trouble is looming in the nice, warm weather of Florida, where two of the conference's best teams reside. It'll be a tough challenge for Pittsburgh and a good chance to see how they measure up to the adversity.