Connect with us


Game Day #1! Penguins vs. Lightning, Lines, Notes & How to Watch



Pittsburgh Penguins game, Tampa Bay Lightning

And so it begins. The arduous journey over months of time, dozens of bruises, injuries, and in 2022 multiple continents. The 2021-22 NHL season begins with the Pittsburgh Penguins (0-0-0) against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning (0-0-0) at Amalie Arena on the NHL’s new broadcast partner, ESPN.

The Penguins finalized their roster, at least for a day, on Monday. The organ-I-zation submitted their 23-player roster, but four of the 14 forwards will be unavailable on Tuesday night. Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, Zach Aston-Reese, and Evgeni Malkin were on the final roster.

Malkin, 35, was placed on LTIR. He’s not expected to return for a couple of months, at least. Jake Guentzel and Zach Aston-Reese are recovering from their absences due to the COVID protocol. On Monday, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said neither would be available on Tuesday night. Thursday in Florida is a possibility.

Sidney Crosby made the trip with the Penguins but will be a practice participant, only.

PTO center Brian Boyle also made the trip with the Penguins and signed his contract Tuesday morning. The Penguins also “recalled” Drew O’Connor and Anthony Angello.

UPDATE: Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan says defenseman Mike Matheson is out day-to-day.

Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines:

Jake GuentzelSidney CrosbyBryan Rust
Rickard RakellEvgeni MalkinKasperi Kapanen
Jason ZuckerJeff CarterDanton Heinen
Brock McGinnTeddy BluegerEvan Rodrigues
Mike MathesonKris Letang
Marcus PetterssonJohn Marino
Mark FriedmanChad Ruhwedel
Tristan Jarry
Louis Domingue

Expected Tampa Bay Lightning Lines, Per









Game Notes:

*Penguins defenseman Mike Matheson will miss the opener and is day-to-day, coach Mike Sullivan announced after the morning skate. He is dealing with a nagging lower body injury, something Sullivan divulged after Matheson left Friday’s practice earlier.

*Jon Cooper signed a three-year contract extension with the Lightning on Oct. 11, 2021, ensuring he’ll remain Tampa Bay’s head coach through the 2024-25 season…Cooper has led the Lightning to back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships, three Cup Finals (2015, 2020, and 2021), five Eastern Conference/Semifinal Round series (2015, 2016, 2018, 2020, and 2021), and a combined 383-197-53 record, his .647 points percentage second highest in NHL history among coaches with a minimum of 500 games, trailing only Scotty Bowman (.657 in 2,141 games).

*Cooper, on facing the Penguins without Crosby: “The part (of the event) that’s down is that Sid’s not playing. Even as a(n opposing) coach in the league, you want the other team to be locked and loaded. You want to see all their stars as well.”

*Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy won the 2021 Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after going 16-7 with five shutouts, a 1.90 GAA and .937 save percentage in the postseason.

Vasilevskiy was also named one of three players symbolically named to the Russian Olympic team.

*The Pittsburgh Penguins are 22-22-9 all-time in road openers (first road game of the season).

*Kris Letang has 33 points (5G-28A) in 39 career games versus Tampa Bay. He has more points against the Lightning than any other non-Metropolitan Division team

*Since the beginning of the 2006-07 season, Pittsburgh has played just 52 games without both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in the lineup. In those 52 games, the Penguins have gone 31-15-6 (.654 points percentage).

*Mike Sullivan is one win away from tying Dan Bylsma for the most all-time regular-season wins among Penguins coaches at 252.

*Jeff Carter is one goal shy of 400 for his career.

How to Watch:

TV: ESPN, ESPN+; Radio: 105.9 The X

Subscribe to PHN+

Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scott Baron
Scott Baron
11 months ago

Those scars on the knee of Malkin sure look like an ACL reconstruction. If so he is probably out until after the olympics.

11 months ago
Reply to  Scott Baron

If that is true, then we need to “Kucherov” him till the playoffs and go after some big trade to get a true #2 center. Detroit and Larkin maybe?

11 months ago
Reply to  Kris

No need to Kucherov him. The cap savings from him missing that amount of time would still allow the Pens to go after a big fish.

I think they’ll wait til later in the season though to see what they have first. And, to get that pro rated cap.

11 months ago
Reply to  Scott Baron

I haven’t seen the scars, but if that is the case you’re probably right. Also, if that’s the case, you have to wonder how in the world he skated at all during the playoffs. Geno gets a bad rep for being injury prone. But, if he played that well with an ACL that bad…imagine what he’s still capable of when he’s back to full health…

C Daniel
C Daniel
11 months ago

One Joseph brother on view anyway.

11 months ago

Anyone betting on who will get hurt tonight. My money is on Letang or Dumo. Probably Dumo.. Hopefully no one but there’s noway Pens don’t have an injury tonight.