NHL Pre-Game Notes: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Charles LeClaire – USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s game between the Pittsburgh Penguins (12-6-0, 24 points) and the Tampa Bay Lightning (9-7-1, 19 points) will be televised locally on ROOT Sports – Pittsburgh and nationally on NBC Sports Network and TSN2. Face off is set for 7:30 pm (est) at the CONSOL Energy Center.  The Penguins will be wearing their third, dark blue alternate uniforms tonight.

The Penguins will be without superstar center, Evgeni Malkin, tonight due to injury.  Malkin was hurt during the third period of the game against the Florida Panthers after hitting the boards awkwardly.  He did not return to the ice after he skated off on his own to the locker room.  Head coach had this to say earlier today about Malkin:

“(Malkin) will continue to be evaluated by our doctors tonight before the game,” Bylsma said. “At this point in time we have not ruled out an concussion. I am happy to report that he has not been suffering from headaches or disorientation.”

The projected line combinations based on this morning’s skate are as follows:

POWER PLAY UNITS: First unit consists of Kris Letang-Paul Martin, James Neal-Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby and the second unit was made up of Matt Niskanen-Dustin Jeffrey/Simon Despres, Beau Bennett-Brandon Sutter-Tyler Kennedy;

FORWARDS: Kunitz-Crosby-Neal, Bennett-Sutter-Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke-Jeffrey-Kennedy, Tanner Glass-Joe Vitale-Craig Adams (Zach Boychuk);

DEFENSEMEN: Brooks Orpik-Martin, Niskanen-Letang, Despres-Deryk Engelland, Mark Eaton-Robert Bortuzzo. The projected starting goalie in net for the Penguins tonight is Marc-Andre Fleury.

TAMPA BAY INJURY / LINE INFO
The Lightning will be without the services of three players tonight against the Penguins. Forward, Ryan Malone, with a lower body injury is day-to-day; and defenseman, Mattias Ohlund, with a knee injury and Matt Taormina with an upper body injury is day-to-day; and Anders Lindback is the projected starting net minder for Tampa Bay tonight.

Stephanie Lewark is a featured Pittsburgh Penguins writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter (@steelcitysports), check out her Facebook page, or add her to your Google+ circle.

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