Enemy Blog: Head over to The Pensblog and the Puck Huffers for your opposition blog coverage. Also Get to Our Game recaps both Pens games and Bachelor episodes for a nice mix of randomness.
Record: Lightning (24-24-6) Penguins (31-19-5)
Previous games this season: January 15: Pens win 6-3, November 17: Lightning win 4-1
Game time: 7:00pm EDT on SUN (HD)
Both teams played yesterday and are playing the second half of their back to back tonight in Pittsburgh; The Pens had a day game against the Jets where it was the Evgeni Malkin show yet again with the Penguins won their game 8-5. They let in 2 goals early to the Jets but them came back in the 1st period to erase their mistake. John from Raw Charge muses that scoring 8 goals when you have to play the next day may be overdoing it, though I'm not sure if there is ever such a thing as overdoing it in goals.
The Lightning won 2-1 over the Sabres last night in a defensively well-played game for the team. They scored both their goals in the 2nd period, one from Downie and the other was Stamkos' 37th of the season.
Technically every point we get it keeps our playoff dreams alive, but time is running out man. One of the few things we have going for us is how the Southeast Division seems to field a group of teams below every other division in the NHL. That being said, NHL players are battlers and until its over, it's not over. Two more points tonight keeps the playoff dream still alive.
Scratched from last night, Adam Hall is expected to play tonight though Ryan Malone is not expected to make his return from injury tonight.
Penguins injuries: Tyler Kennedy, Arron Asham, Simon Despres, Sidney Crosby
Lightning injuries: Mattias Ohlund, Dana Tyrell, Ryan Malone, Matt Gilroy
According to the Cristodero's tweet Garon will start in netLinks:
Official Lightning preview no comments
Via a statement emailed to The Detroit News:
Earlier today Wings GM had expressed hope that Yzerman would play in the alumni game for the Wings when they play against the Leafs in next years' Winter Classic. No reason why Yzerman wouldn't play was given, perhaps it is his health (his knee) which the Detroit News alluded to, or perhaps it's just because he is now the GM of another team. no comments
"It will be a fantastic event with two great organizations at a storied venue," Yzerman said of the Jan. 1 game. "The perfect location and matchup, this is wonderful for the NHL.
"At this time I don't plan on participating in the alumni game but hope to watch the (Winter) Classic on TV."
Tonight was definitely a better effort from the team. Although we got a point going into OT, the loss is just one more point that we didn't get. With only a limited number of games left before the trade deadline, every point matters, the OT loss matters.
Stamkos continues his league lead in goals scoring his 36th on a breakaway late in the 1st. Garon played well early stopping 10 shots in the 1st period and kept the team in the game since the Lightning only had 4 shots on net.
The second period was more even in terms of shots with the Lightning having 10 and the Rangers 11. A terrible hooking call on Ryan Shannon puts the Rangers up on the PP at 4:22 and the Rangers tied up the game 11 seconds later.
More recap after the jump...
Enemy Blog: Head over to Scotty Hockey and The New York Rangers Blog for your opposition blog coverage
Record: Lightning (23-24-5) Rangers (33-13-5)
Previous games: Thursday Dec 8, 2011 - Lightning win 3-2, Saturday Dec 3, 2011 - Rangers win 4-2
Game time: 7:00pm EST on SUN (HD)
Both teams come into tonight's game with a record of 6-3-1 in the last 10 games. The Lightning had a no show effort in their last game against the Kings. Props go to the Kings for playing a great roadgame, but the Lightning didn't really give them much of a challenge. Based on Scotty Hockey's recap of the Rangers game against the Devils on Tuesday, it sounds like the Rangers put in the same effort that the Lightning did.
I still can't get over that the Rangers are currently in 1st in the Conference. It just doesn't seem like it should be possible. Like I know while watching 24/7 they were playing well, but in 1st? Crazy world we live in. Larry Brooks wrote an article about how their buyin of the system for the Rangers could make them the next big winners in New York. The Lightning are not thinking of how far the Rangers are ahead of them as there is no catching up, but will just take one game at a time.
Tonight they begin a three game road trip where we'll face off against the Ranger, Sabres and Pens. John is comparing this road trip to a change in weather, and is using some English device that I can't remember what it's called from my English 12 glasses in high school. Something about the cold of the trip being like our season dying with each game played that ends in a loss.
Click here to continue reading the game preview...
There's something about a good article about Hedman that just makes me all warm and fuzzy. This one by Damien Cristodero is one that I read tonight that I think encapsulates his progress as a player. Also, Boucher was in metaphor-city with his quotes:
Boucher has called Hedman "terrific" and "a machine."That's some high praise for the still young defenceman.
"He's turning into a monster. I love it."
"He's one of those guys you want to hurry up and blossom, and that's happening," Boucher said. "He's going one step at a time, but he's climbing that ladder and looking really good." -Tampa Bay Times
Hedman has matured and grown in a slow steady way. Sometimes its frustrating to watch the others around his draft class achieve more faster, but allowances have to made because he's a defenceman. And defenceman just take a little bit more time than forwards for the most part. His progress can only be measure in comparison to the year before, and the year before that, and his rookie year. It can been seen in the mistakes he doesn't make now, in the patience that he shows with the puck and the average of 22:20 minutes a game he plays.
For another great Hedman related article, read this one by the Globe and Mail on how his mom Elisabeth Hedman wakes up at 1:30am local time in Sweden to watch her son play hockey, heading back to bed for a few hours of sleep before teaching kindergarten during the day. no comments
Kyle Clifford's face in this hockey hug looks like he is mildly revolted by Trevor Lewis
"He has a case of fumblelitis..."
Oh Mishkin, sometimes I love the way you call a game. You and Chris Dingman made this game hilarious to listen to, even through the 3rd period.
Clearly I am fighting with the embed code so just go directly to this link to view it: Photo via Peter Pupello.
To make it up to you, I have found two hilarious previews for tonight's game for you to read. Please enjoy both:
The Royal Half - The Worst
Battle of Cali - The Greatest Accomplishment of my Life
Here is a video of the festivities: