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Game Preview: Pens-Bolts

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins host their opponent from last year's Eastern Conference Final the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

MATCH: Penguins vs. Lightning

TIME: 7 p.m. EST

PLACE: PPG Paints Arena

TV: ROOT Sports

RADIO: 105.9 FM, the X

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

Pittsburgh has won both previous contests against the Lightning this season and 13 of the past 17 overall regular-season meetings between the clubs dating back to 2012 … The Pens are 10-1 in their last 11 regular-season games against the Bolts at home … The Pens are looking to avoid their 2nd 3-game losing streak tonight … Pittsburgh has killed 21 of 23 penalties (91.3%) in the past 8 games … Conor Sheary skated on a line and did work on the team's 2nd PP unit. He is a game-time decision for tonight ... Newly acquired defenseman Mark Streit will make his Pens' debut tonight. He was picked up at Wednesday's trade deadline from Tampa Bay for a 2018 4th-round pick. The 39-year-old veteran is a 6-time 40-point player … Goaltender Matt Murray's next win will be his 24th of the season, tying Gary Inness for most wins by a rookie in franchise history … Evgeni Malkin will be playing in his 700th career NHL game tonight, the 7th Pens player to do so in franchise history … Pittsburgh injuries: Trevor Daley (knee, 3 games missed); Kris Letang (upper-body, 3); Olli Maatta (hand, 6); Bryan Rust (upper-body, 9); Sheary (upper-body, 13) … The Lightning are on quite a streak lately with a 7-1-2 mark in their last 10 games … The Bolts have scored 49 power-pay goals this season, the most in the NHL, and rank 2nd in percentage in the league at 22.8% … Nikita Kucherov has 12 points (6G-6A) in his last 4 games, including a goal in each contest. He leads the Bolts in goals and points (27-61) on the season … Victor Hedman has a 3-game scoring streak (2G-3A). He scored 2 goals, including the OT winner, on March 1 against Carolina. He ranks 3rd in the NHL in scoring among Dmen with 53 points (12G-41A) … Tampa Bay injuries: Ryan Callahan (right hip, 21); Steven Stamkos (right knee, 45) … Wounded warrior Pat McIlvain attended the team's morning skate and will take in Friday and Sunday's game. McIlvain, who played club hockey at Cal U, was shot in the head while serving our country in Afghanistan and is a yearly guest of the Pens. Following the skate he came into the locker to meet the players.

MORNING SKATE REPORT:

*The Pens had full attendance of healthy players at their morning skate as well as forward Conor Sheary working with the team. Kris Letang was a notable absence.

*The Pens used the following workflow…

Kunitz-Crosby-Sheary

Hagelin-Malkin-Hornqvist

Guentzel-Bonino-Kessel

Kuhnhackl-Cullen-Wilson

Dumoulin-Schultz

Streit-Hainsey

Cole-Ruhwedel

*PP1: Schultz, Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Hornqvist. Streit and Sheary worked the 2nd unit. 

*Murray was the 1st goalie off the ice at morning skate. 

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