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Getting to know a Bolt: J.T. Brown

As the Penguins get ready for the Tampa Bay Lightning, we get you ready by looking into one of their players to know as a preview of the series

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It's the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning as the last two teams standing in the Eastern Conference. Who will play for the Stanley Cup? We'll soon find out. But first, let's look at who plays for the Lightning.

Name: J.T. Brown

Height: 5'10"

Weight: 175 lbs

Born: July 2nd, 1990 (25 years old)

Drafted: undrafted, signed with Tampa as a college free agent in the Spring of 2012

2015-16 stat line: 78 games played, 8 goals, 14 assists, 59 penalty minutes

2014-15 playoff stat line: 2 GP, 0G, 0A

2015-16 stats vs Penguins: 3 GP, 0G, 0A, 8 hits, 5 SOG

2015-16 5v5 Advanced Stats: 52.2 CF%, +0.9% Corsi Relative, 102.4 PDO

Player detail (via The Hockey News Player Page)

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2015-16 Tampa Bay Lightning player usage, via War on Ice

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HERO Chart (via Domenic Galamini):

Analysis: In his 3rd NHL season, Brown set career highs in goals, assists and points. None of these are eye-popping boxcars, but he's been a player that's an excellent skater, has a bit of an edge (103 hits, 40 blocked shots) and become a useful penalty killer. Interestingly, Brown's got more Assists/60 at even strength (0.81) than Steven Stamkos (0.76) and he's just behind Tyler Johnson at (0.82) but that speaks more to Stamkos ranking 8th among TB forwards and Johnson just 6th in that category than it does Brown. Still, it shows the guy doesn't have blocks for hands and he can use his speed to generate.

Most common line mates: Brown has played a lot of minutes spread around, but his most common linemate is Valtteri Filppula. Both have been better together (53.5 CF%, 2.16 GF/60, 1.44 GA/60) than apart (Brown 51.1% CF, Filp 49.2%).

It's interesting because if coach John Cooper pairs Filppula-Brown together, there's other decent winger choices (and common bottom-six linemates) like Ryan Callahan or Cedric Paquette to create a line that could check and try to contain either the Sidney Crosby line, or perhaps more realistically the Hagelin-Bonino-Kessel line.

Why you should know who he is: Brown has been out of action since blocking a shot vs. DET on April 15, but his return looks close. He will be noticeable to the Penguins and their fans for his style, he's got great wheels and is not fun to play against with a willingness to be physical. He's simply a hard-working bottom-6 player that logs 13 minutes a night and will put a little stamp on this series with his energy.

How the Pens can stop him: Stopping him shouldn't be the problem, not getting annoyed by him might. Brown's got great energy and plays with an edge, he's just the type of player that can stir things up after the whistle, but is also a good enough skater and has decent skill during play to create a playoff moment maybe with his legs or a nice pass.