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Pens try to bounce back at Tampa Bay

by Magalie Lafreni?re

PENGUINS (40-23-5) at LIGHTNING (28-27-12)

Last 10 -- Pittsburgh 5-1-4; Tampa Bay 3-6-1

Season series -- This is the third of four meetings this season. The Pens took the first match, 4-1, on Oct. 17, while the Lightning won 3-1 on Jan. 2. Steve Downie had a goal and an assist in the win and the Bolts outshot the Penguins 37-26.

Big story -- The Lightning won a big game Friday night, defeating the league-leading Washington Capitals. The two crucial points against a divisional rival places the Bolts in 10th place, four points out of playoff contention. Pittsburgh is trying to bounce back after losing 3-1 at New Jersey on Friday, cutting their Atlantic Division lead over the Devils to two points.

Team Scope:

Penguins -- Pittsburgh has lost the first two games of a four-game road trip and four of their last five on the road.

Against the Devils, Sidney Crosby scored the Penguins' lone goal, his League-leading 45th of the season, while Marc-André Fleury made 29 saves. But the Penguins lost for the fifth time in a row to Martin Brodeur and the Devils.

"He's played really well against us this year, but I don't think we have allowed that to frustrate us," Crosby said of Brodeur after the Pens outshot the Devils 35-32. "I think we have done some really good things and kept coming at him, but he's kept responding. We're hoping eventually we're going to get some more behind him."

Lightning -- The Bolts' 3-2 victory over the Caps should give them the boost they need for the final push for the playoffs.

Tampa got goals from third and fourth liners Brandon Bochenski and Matt Walker and a strange deflection off Vincent Lecavalier's elbow proved to be the game-winner. The goal was initially waved off, but was determined to be good upon review.

"I felt it hit my arm, so it was obvious for me. The referee thought it hit my stick and that it was above the cross bar, but he wasn't at the best angle, so it was tough for him to make the call, but it ended up going in," Lecavalier said

Who's hot -- Despite the Bolts' big win on Friday, Steven Stamkos' 18-game point streak came to an end. The sophomore center had 17 goals and 16 assists during the streak. Walker now has two goals in his last three games when he had just two in his first 291 NHL games. Lecavalier has four goals in his last five.

Crosby is riding an eight-game point streak with six goals and seven assists. Pascal Dupuis, who is currently playing along Crosby, has at least a point in his last four games, with two goals and three assists.

Injury report -- Tampa left wing Ryan Malone (upper body) and defenseman Matthias Ohlund (leg) are questionable for Sunday. Forward Zenon Konopka is out with back spasms, while defenseman David Hale is out with a broken leg. ... For the Pens, right wing Eric Godard is day-to-day with a groin injury that has kept him out since January.

Stat pack -- In 41 games played against Pittsburgh, Lecavalier has 37 points (23 goals, 14 assists), while Sergei Gonchar leads the Penguins with 41 points (13 goals, 28 assists) in 59 games against the Lightning.

Puck drop -- "It was probably the best road game we played all year. Not just because we beat Washington. The overall game" -- Bolts goaltender Antero Niittymaki on his team's win over the Caps -- Washington's first regulation loss at home in 2010

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