GAME: Tampa Bay Lightning (19-15-6-1) at Pittsburgh Penguins (11-25-5-3).
TIME: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
John Grahame is making the most of his opportunity to play.
Grahame may be in goal for the fourth straight game when the surging Tampa
Bay Lightning meet the lowly Pittsburgh Penguins at Mellon Arena in the finale
of a five-game road trip.
Grahame, who has a stellar 1.63 goals-against average and .927 save
percentage in 15 appearances this season, has been extremely solid of late,
leaving coach John Tortorella no choice but to ride him in place of All-Star
The Lightning have jumped back into first place in the Southeast Division
thanks to three straight wins. Tampa Bay has outscored its opponents 10-3
during the run, with Grahame stopping 54 of 57 shots (.947). He is 6-1-1 on the
road this season.
On Sunday, Grahame made 22 saves in a 2-1 overtime win over the New York
Rangers, a team Khabibulin had made 10 of the last 12 starts against.
"That was a very good hockey game," Grahame said. "Both teams scored
early goals, and both teams played well the rest of the way. Fortunately we
were able to come out on top."
Khabibulin has not played poorly as his 2.16 GAA and .921 save percentage
indicate, but the Lightning are a .500 team with him in goal (11-11-5).
Khabibulin, who will be celebrating his 31st birthday Tuesday, has won 192
games and has a 2.61 GAA during his nine-year career. But he has not played
since allowing five goals on 27 shots in a 5-2 loss to Ottawa last Tuesday.
The Penguins had been outscored 25-8 in losing five of their first six games
in January before a surprising 2-1 road win over Atlantic Division-leading
Philadelphia on Monday.
Jean-Sebastien Aubin, making just his seventh appearance of the season, made
Pittsburgh scored two power-play goals, the same amount the Penguins had in
their previous 51 chances.