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Lightning Vs. Penguins: Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos Face Off As Pens Struggle To Build Momentum

Sidney Crosby and the Penguins have a rematch against Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning Friday night at 7:00. Stamkos and Crosby are first and second in the NHL in both goals and points. (Several players are tied for second in goals with Crosby).

The Penguins badly need to get things going, but it won't be easy against the Lightning, which currently has an 8-5-2 record. The Post-Gazette makes the case that this game is more than a Stamkos-Crosby matchup; it's Pens head coach Dan Bylsma who will be in the spotlight after the Pens' mediocre start. The Penguins, however, maintain that the key to getting through their slump is to stay calm and keep playing, although that's difficult to square with some of the obvious problems so far:

Everything, of course, does not appear to be fine. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has struggled mightily, the team doesn't showcase any elite wingers, its power play has been dreadful and the defensemen were largely responsible for Wednesday night's third-period collapse against Boston.

Look out to see who will be in the net tonight - Brent Johnson had been reliable as a stopper this season, but he was in the net during the Pens' third-period collapse against the Bruins on Wednesday.

In the two teams' first meeting this season, on October 27, Stamkos and Crosby were both held to an assist apiece, and the Lightning won 5-3.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.