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Lightning Vs. Penguins: Tampa Bay Hosts East-Leading Pittsburgh

The Lightning (8-7-2) hope to end their two-game losing streak Thursday night when they take on the Penguins (11-4-3) in a rematch of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning (8-7-2, 18 points) look to end their two-game losing streak Thursday night when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins (11-4-3, 25 points) at the St. Pete Times Forum. Thursday's is the first time the teams have met since the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, in which the Lightning fell into a 3-1 series hole, only to rally past the Penguins and advance to the next round.

In its last outing, the Lightning fell to the Winnipeg Jets, 5-2. Dwayne Roloson allowed four goals in 22 shots, prompting coach Guy Boucher to pull him in the second period. In relief, Mathieu Garon allowed one goal in 17 shots, but Tampa Bay was too far behind to mount a serious comeback.

The Penguins, meanwhile, have won three of their last four contests, including a 6-3 victory against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday. Pittsburgh scored four goals in the third period to rally itself to victory; Colorado led, 3-1, after the first period. James Neal scored one goal and tallied two assists to continue his stellar 2011/12 campaign. The four-year veteran ranks No. 2 in goals (12) and No. 10 in points (20) at this early point in the season.

The puck drops at 7:30 Eastern. Sun Sports has the local telecast, while NHL offers national coverage. Tampa Bay owns a 6-1-0 record at home this season, offering hope that it can prevail against the Eastern Conference-leading Penguins.

For more Lightning coverage, please visit Raw Charge, SB Nation's Lightning blog. For the perspective from the other side, please visit Pensburgh, SB Nation's Penguins blog.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.