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First-place Bolts head to Pittsburgh

by Brian Compton /
LIGHTNING (24-11-5) at PENGUINS (25-12-3)


Last 10: Tampa Bay 8-1-1; Pittsburgh 5-4-1

Season Series: This is the third of four meetings between the teams. They split the first two games, as the Pens avenged a 5-3 loss on Oct. 27 by beating the Bolts by a 5-1 score on Nov. 12.

Big Story: It didn't take very long for Dwayne Roloson to make his presence felt with the Lightning. The newest member of the club shined in his Bolts' debut, as he stopped all 34 shots he faced -- 21 of them came in the second period -- in a 1-0 overtime win at Washington on Tuesday night.

"You're just trying to worry about what you have to do to help the team win, especially with the new environment and everything else," said Roloson, who was acquired from the New York Islanders on New Year's Day. "There's a lot of different things going on so for me personally, I was just trying to focus on what I had to do and control the things I could control and give our guys a chance to win."

Team Scope:

Lightning: Not only was Tampa Bay able to avenge a pair of losses to the Caps in which they were outscored 12-3, but the Bolts also grabbed sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division on Tuesday night. Martin St. Louis got the Lightning a second point in the standings when he beat Semyon Varlamov at 2:54 of the extra session.

"They embarrassed us the last time we were in here. They beat us twice before and we wanted some revenge," center Steven Stamkos said. "I thought we finally played our game against these guys. We've done it against other top teams, but we haven't done it against them until tonight. I think they got a glimpse of what to expect from us the rest of the year."

Penguins: Pittsburgh enters Wednesday's action trying to avoid a three-game losing streak. After dropping a 2-1 decision on Long Island last Wednesday, the Pens suffered a 3-1 loss to the Caps at the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Saturday at Heinz Field.

"It's frustrating," Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said Saturday night. "There was so much build-up to the game. It's definitely disappointing to lose that one."

Who's Hot: With his overtime tally, St. Louis now has 17 goals this season. He ranks second on the Lightning with 51 points. … Evgeni Malkin had Pittsburgh's lone goal on Saturday. It snapped a three-game pointless skid.

Injury Report: Bolts defenseman Randy Jones is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Goalie Mike Smith (knee) is out. … Pittsburgh is boasting a healthy lineup.

Stat Pack: Sidney Crosby has gone consecutive games without a point for the first time all season. The Pens' captain has only been held scoreless five times this season. His 25-game point streak was snapped last Wednesday against the Islanders.

Puck Drop:  "We got a goalie of that caliber for a reason. He's proven in this League that he can be a great goalie and he showed that tonight. It was a great first impression for us obviously with the shutout and the big win." -- Lightning center Steven Stamkos on Dwayne Roloson
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