PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins (7-6-3) will face one of the best teams in the NHL Thursday, the Tampa Bay Lightning (12-5-1). The Penguins have lost six of their last seven games, including Tuesday in New Jersey. And the Penguins lines are in flux at the moment.
Wednesday, the Penguins began the process of shuffling their lineup by trading speedy left wing Carl Hagelin, who had just three points (1g, 2a) this season for struggling L.A. Kings left wing Tanner Pearson, who has just one.
Pearson, 26, has scored 15 or more goals in each of the past three seasons, including 24 goals in 2016-17.
Tampa Bay lost in Buffalo, Tuesday. It marked the first time this season Tampa Bay has lost consecutive games. Backup goalie Louis Domingue is the likely starter as news broke Thursday that Tampa goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has a broken foot.
Tampa Bay remains in first place in the Atlantic Division and has the second-best points percentage (.694) in the NHL, behind only Nashville. They also have the third-best penalty kill in the league at 87.9 percent. The Lightning was 2-1 against the Penguins last season.
The Penguins power play is ranked 10th in the league at 23.9 percent and their PK is sixth in the league (84 percent).
Notes: The Penguins will debut their third jerseys against Tampa Bay. And the team will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Mario Lemieux Foundation. Lemieux, the Penguins owner, will also drop the puck for the ceremonial opening faceoff. A new Mario Mosiac will also be unveiled in the Highmark lobby as well.
Penguins Lines:[table “18” not found /]
|Marcus Pettersson||Kris Letang|
|Mike Matheson||John Marino|
|P.O. Joseph||Cody Ceci|