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Penguins Notebook

Pens vs. Bolts; Pregame Nachos November 25

Matt Murray By Michael Miller (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0

The Pittsburgh Penguins have lost seven of 10, and three in a row, including two in a row at home. The task will not get easier, tonight. The Tampa Bay Lightning are not just the hottest team in the NHL, they are the best. After missing the playoffs last season, they hit the ground running this season.

This is the Penguins seventh of 19 sets of back-to-back games. They lost in Boston yesterday, 4-3. The Lightning lost in Washington, 3-1. The Penguins may have a slight advantage as they played yesterday at 1 pm, while the Lightning had a 7 pm start.

Lightning GM Steve Yzerman made a point to add experienced leadership to correct some of the problems of last season. Chris Kunitz (you remember him, right?) and defenseman Dan Girardi formerly of the New York Rangers were signed this offseason.

The Penguins have been spanked in first periods this season, and that has cost them the last two games, against Vancouver and Boston, specifically. The ‘guins have been outscored 30-16 in the opening frames, this season.

Yes, Tampa knows this and they will look to put another boot to the Penguins early.

Special Teams

The Lightning has the #1 ranked power-play (27.4%), while the Pens are tied for third (24.7%).

Penalty Killing has been the Penguins bugaboo, though two kills yesterday in Boston bumped their percentage up to 76.3%, tied for 25th in the NHL.

The Lightning are 8th in the league and have the best road PK, 90.9%.  Yes, wow.

Starting goalies….?

My gawd, that’s Tom Barrasso’s music! Oh wait, Tristan Jarry will get his first home start for the Penguins.

Petr Budaj goes for the Bolts.

Quick Hits per the Penguins

–The Penguins have outscored the Lightning 61-27 in the last 12 games in Pittsburgh. The Penguins are 11-1 in those 12 games.

–Sidney Crosby has points in eight of nine games against the Lightning at PPG Paints Arena.

–The Penguins haven’t lost four straight under Mike Sullivan since the coach’s first four games behind the Penguins bench.

#Free Archie

Say it with me, Tweet it with me, Free Josh Archibald. He contributed to the Penguins only sustained offensive pressure against Vancouver. He’s a little wild. He’s a little reckless. …But it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for. Turn out the lights. Don’t try to save. #FreeArchie.

Groverisms:

Kenna James at Blush
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