NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, October 12th
(All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Penguins (3-1-0) at Tampa Bay Lightning (3-1-0), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Penguins aim to bounce back from their
first loss of the season when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning for
Saturday's battle at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
After going 3-0 to begin the season with Marc-Andre Fleury in net, the
Penguins stumbled in the NHL debut of Jeff Zatkoff on Friday. Zatkoff gave up
six goals on 30 shots as Pittsburgh dropped a 6-3 road decision to the Florida
Panthers, who went 2-for-4 on the power play.
"It was good to get in, but not the way I planned for it to go," Zatkoff said.
"I need to make a few more saves in critical times in the game. I wasn't able
to do that. That was the difference. I have to be better."
Fleury will be back between the pipes on Friday, as he tries to continue his
strong start to the season. The 28-year-old is 3-0 with a 1.00 goals against
average and has stopped 79 of the 82 shots sent his way in 2013-14.
Craig Adams, Evgeni Malkin and Pascal Dupuis each scored once for the Penguins
in Friday's loss, while Sidney Crosby posted an assist to give him at least a
point in all four games this season.
Friday's game was Pittsburgh's first road test of the season. The Penguins
fared well as the guest during the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign, posting
identical 18-6-0 records at home and on the road.
The Lightning enter Saturday's contest riding a three-game winning streak.
Tampa Bay lost its season opener in Boston, but then took games in Chicago and
Buffalo to complete a three-game road trip before routing the Panthers in the
home opener on Thursday.
Steven Stamkos notched his sixth career hat trick as the Lightning
dominated the visiting Panthers, 7-2, at the Forum. Stamkos scored a
shorthanded goal in the first, added an even-strength tally in the second and
capped the hat trick with a power-play score in the third.
Stamkos was second in the NHL with 29 goals during the shortened season in
2013, but had gone three straight games without a goal this year before
breaking through on Thursday.
"It feels great to help your team win," said Stamkos. "There's no better
feeling than producing and helping your team win, especially in front of the
Valtteri Filppula scored twice, Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist,
while Ondrej Palat also lit the lamp for the Lightning. Teddy Purcell added
three helpers and Ben Bishop had 19 saves and an assist in the win for Tampa
On Saturday, the Lightning will play the second test of a seven-game
homestand, the club's longest stay at the Forum this season. Tampa Bay was
12-10-2 on home ice last season compared to a 6-16-2 mark on the road.
Pittsburgh has claimed six straight in this series and it scored four or more
goals against Tampa in each win during that streak. The Penguins have taken
the last two encounters in Florida and seven of their last 11 road games in
10/12 10:34:59 ET