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Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins preview: Welcome back from the break!

Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins: GAME 50

Time: 8:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: PPG Paints Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: NBCSN, SN, TVAS

Opponent SBNation Site: Pensburgh

Preview:

Welcome to Game 50, Lightning fans!

There are 32 games left until the end of the regular season. Tampa Bay had won 5 of their last 7 games leading up to the bye-week-slash-All-Star-break, which was concluded by a decisive 6-3 victory over San Jose.

The Bolts have had ten days off, which has to be a record for the longest break since the NHL introduced the bye-week. They face a Pittsburgh Penguins squad that has played one game since coming back from their bye-week (a 6-3 loss to New Jersey). The Penguins have had an up-and-down season — they went on an eight-game winning streak at the end of December, but have only three wins in their last eight games. They’ve struggled lately, not only with slow starts, but keeping the puck out of their net:

That should be a recipe for success for their opponents, especially Tampa Bay, who leads the league with the most goals scored this season (one shy of 200). And even though plus-minus is a pretty terrible stat to reference, it’s pretty shocking that Evgeni Malkin is minus-20 on the season.

The Lightning come out of the break with good news on the injury front — Tyler Johnson will return to the lineup:

Also, the Bolts’ blueline has been in a bit of a blender rotation lately, with the team carrying seven defensemen. Assistant coach Derek Lalonde addressed that situation yesterday:

According to line rushes in practice, Coburn was the extra defenseman, so it’s likely his turn to sit out a game.

It should be a great game, despite the Pens’ struggles as of late. And if you’re tuning in to watch this game on NBC tomorrow, you’ll get an extra-special treat:

Congratulations, Kendall! We’re all rooting you on here at Raw Charge — you’ll do great.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forwards

Tyler JohnsonBrayden PointNikita Kucherov

Alex KillornAnthony CirelliJ.T. Miller

Ondrej PalatSteven StamkosYanni Gourde

Adam ErneCedric PaquetteRyan Callahan

Scratched: Mathieu Joseph, Danick Martel

Defense

Victor HedmanDan Girardi

Ryan McDonaghErik Cernak

Mikhail SergachevAnton Stralman

Scratched: Braydon Coburn

Goalies

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Louis Domingue

Pittsburgh Penguins

Forwards

Jake Guentzel – Sidney CrosbyDominik Simon

Bryan RustEvgeni MalkinPhil Kessel

Tanner Pearson – Derrick Brassard – Patric Hornqvist

Riley SheahanMatt Cullen – Garrett Wilson

Defense

Brian Dumolin – Kris Letang

Olli MaattaJuuso Riikola

Marcus PetterssonJack Johnson

Chad Ruhwedel

Goalies

Matt Murray

Casey DeSmith



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