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Pens-Lightning Preview

Saturday, 10.12.2013 / 8:35 AM / Features
NHL.com

PENGUINS (3-1-0) vs. LIGHTNING (3-1-0)
  WHEN: October 12, 2013 - 7:00 p.m.  |  WHERE: Tampa Bay Times Forum
WATCH: ROOT SPORTS  |  LISTEN: Penguins Radio 24/7, 105.9 FM

Season series: The Pittsburgh Penguins have won six in a row against Tampa Bay Lightning, including all three meetings last season. They've scored at least four goals in all six games.

Big story:
The Lightning had a day off Friday to savor a 7-2 victory against the Florida Panthers in their home opener Thursday night, and to watch the Panthers beat Pittsburgh 6-3 on Friday. Tampa Bay has won three in a row after an opening-night road loss to the Boston Bruins. Pittsburgh's loss at Florida was its first after a trio of three-goal wins at home.

Team Scope:

Penguins:
Coach Dan Bylsma gave starter Marc-Andre Fleury the night off against the Panthers but couldn't have been happy with what he saw. A sloppy effort in front of rookie goaltender Jeff Zatkoff resulted in the Panthers scoring six goals, three more than the Penguins allowed in their first three games combined.

Captain Sidney Crosby said poor execution, not poor goaltending, was to blame.

"If you take chances or turn the puck over they're coming at you pretty quick," he said. "It reinforces that much more that you have to take care of the puck. We didn't do that. We didn't execute well."

Fleury, who played in the three wins, is expected to be back in goal against the Lightning.

Lightning:
Tampa Bay won two of its first three games without much help from star center Steven Stamkos, who was limited to two assists. But Stamkos broke out in the home opener by scoring a hat trick and adding an assist. One of the goals came shorthanded, the first time he'd scored while killing a penalty in nearly four years.

"He played 200 feet," coach Jon Cooper said. "He was a physical force out there. He was really dictating where he wanted to be and when he wanted the puck."

Who's hot:
Crosby has points in all four of Pittsburgh's games. Forward Craig Adams scored his third goal of the season in the loss to Florida, matching his total for all of last season. … Lightning captain Martin St. Louis has five points in the past three games.

Injury report:
The Penguins are without forwards James Neal (upper body) and Matt D'Agostini (undisclosed), defenseman Kris Letang (lower body) and goalie Tomas Vokoun (blood clot). … The Lightning will be without starting goaltender Ben Bishop (lower body), forward Tom Pyatt (broken collarbone) and defenseman Brian Lee (knee). Anders Lindback is expected to start in goal, with minor-league callup Cedrick Desjardins as the backup.

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