Enemy Blog: Head over to The Pensblog and the Puck Huffers for your opposition blog coverage

Record: Lightning 1 Penguins 2

Previous games: Game 1: 3-0 Pens, Game 2: 5-1 Lightning, Game 3: 3-2 Pens

Game time: 7:00pm EST on CBC (HD), RDS (HD) SUN (HD), Root (HD) and on the radio at 620 WDAE

Another huge game for the Lightning tonight. It's not an elimination night but if the Lightning lose tonight, I'll be writing that we are in must win mode tomorrow morning. Every game in the playoffs are important.

The Lightning will have to work on getting some secondary scoring because right now, it seems that only Lecavalier and St. Louis is hitting the scoresheet. Although he looked a lot better in Game 3, this is the time Stamkos needs to work that much harder and make an impact. I've been giving him a pass on his efforts since this is his first playoffs, but there comes a time, when you need to start demanding your star players to make a difference.

Although the Pens still have not been able to convert on the powerplay, they've been able to score by committee 5 on 5. Their line of Mike Rupp, Craig Adams and Arron Asham has been a force I did not expect in this series.

Both teams will be without a player as both Chris Kunitz and Steve Downie were awarded a 1 game suspension yesterday by the NHL. The Lightning have called up forwards Blair Jones and Mattias Ritola yesterday as per a press release from the team. It's not confirmed as to whether one or both or none of them may play tomorrow. Much of it is depending on whether Boucher decides to go with 7 D (maybe Marc-Andre Bergeron) and 11 forwards to replace Downie and whether Ryan Malone is good to play the game.

As of right now Boucher says of Malone: "There's no indication that he won't play,''.

Click here to

As for what Kunitz thought happened when he elbowed Gagne:
"I was coming though the middle and getting ready to finish a check like I usually do and the puck was reaching on him," Kunitz said. "I had my arms in a bad spot up in the air anyways, and he (Gagne) kind of spun and turned back towards me. I went to brush him in the shoulder and I got him in the head. Not very responsible on my side. I got got definitely be careful. I'm glad he is okay and finished the game." -Lightning Strikes

"I went to brush him in the shoulder..."? Uhuh Kunitz. That's complete crap, but let's move on.

No callups have been announced by the Pens at the time of writing this preview but The Pensblog was suspecting that it was going to be Eric Tangradi and Rob Rossi is is writing the same in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Bad ice?
It's going to be another warm day in the Tampa area but the Lightning are trying to combat the heat and humidity. From the St. Petersburg Times:

The Lightning has brought in some heavy-duty dehumidifiers to help the ice at the St. Pete Times Forum hold up better during a time of year when the heat and humidity in the state start to rise.

Two temporary dehumidifying systems are each pumping 17,000 cubic feet of air per minute into the building.

Team spokesman Bill Wickett said the system takes outside air, cools it, filters it and sends it into the building with a relative humidity of 32 to 36 percent. That lowers the average humidity in the building 10 to 15 percent.

Something random I've read from the St. Petersburg Times:

"Hunt It Now'' is more than just a slogan the Lightning have adopted for the playoffs. It's also the inspiration behind a postseason puzzle the team is trying to complete.

The puzzle is in the form of the Stanley Cup, which is outlined in white against a black magnetic board with the "Hunt It Now'' slogan written across the top. It is displayed in the Lightning dressing room.

Building from the bottom up, the Lightning add a puzzle piece after each playoff victory. It will take 16 pieces to complete the puzzle and win a Stanley Cup title.

Speaking of things in the dressing room, both teams have some version of pack mentality signage. The Lightning have sign saying 'PACK MENTALITY' and the Pens have a sign saying 'PACK OF WOLVES MENTALITY'. Whatever works.

Go Bolts

Line-up Notes:

  • Lightning injuries: Matt Smaby
  • Lightning scratches:
  • Penguin injuries: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Dustin Jeffrey
  • Matt Cooke is still suspended

Your pre-game reading links: