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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, April 7th (All times eastern)

Pittsburgh Penguins (42-28-9) at Tampa Bay Lightning (24-37-18), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to rebound from back-to- back losses when they visit the lowly Tampa Bay Lightning for tonight's battle at St. Pete Times Forum.

The Penguins are 0-1-1 on a three-game road trip that ends tonight, dropping an overtime test at Carolina on Saturday before losing the following day against Florida. Pittsburgh, which still boasts an impressive 15-3-3 record over its last 21 games, hasn't lost three in a row since a five-game skid from December 27-January 5.

With 93 points, Pittsburgh is sixth in the Eastern Conference and just one point ahead of Montreal. Both the Penguins and Canadiens, who are visiting the New York Rangers tonight, have three games left in the regular season. Pittsburgh is also just two points in back of Philadelphia and Carolina for the conference's fourth seed and both the Flyers and Hurricanes are also in action tonight.

The Penguins were handed a 4-2 setback in Sunrise as David Booth scored the game-winner late in the second period to lead the Panthers to the victory at BankAtlantic Center.

Pascal Dupuis and Mark Eaton scored for the Penguins, while Marc-Andre Fleury allowed four goals on 26 shots in the loss.

Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin was held scoreless for the second straight game and, with 108 points on the year, is now just two ahead of Washington's Alex Ovechkin for the NHL's scoring lead. Ovechkin, who like Malkin has three games left in the regular season, is gunning for his second straight Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading scorer.

The Penguins are just 18-15-6 as the road club this year and have lost three straight as the visitor. Pittsburgh will host the New York Islanders on Thursday before closing the regular season Saturday in Montreal.

The Lightning, meanwhile, are second from the bottom in the Eastern Conference and have lost their last six games. The latest setback came this past Saturday as the New York Islanders -- the last place club in the East -- recorded a home victory over the Bolts.

Yann Danis stopped 29-of-30 shots to backstop the Islanders to a 3-1 win against the Lightning at Nassau Coliseum.

Matt Pettinger tallied the lone goal for the Lightning, who have also dropped nine of 10 and 13 of their last 16 games. Mike McKenna made 18 saves in defeat.

The Lightning, who are 12-16-11 as the host this year, will complete their home schedule in their next game Thursday night against Washington. Tampa will then complete its regular season Saturday in Atlanta.

Pittsburgh has taken two of three from the Lightning this year and has won four of five and five of the last seven encounters overall. The Pens have also won three straight in Tampa.

04/07 11:09:50 ET


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