Halfway through the season, Pittsburgh looked to be running away with the Eastern Conference. HBO was following Crosby and company's day-to-day activities and the team just could not lose. Ironically, it was the game that very television series was leading into which ended up being the turning point for the Penguins' season. Former Capitals center David Steckel injured Sidney Crosby and the Penguins have been a different team since the third period of the Winter Classic.
Like it or not, that is the backdrop heading into the Penguins' first round matchup with the much-improved Tampa Bay Lightning. Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis are the superstars of this series and the catch is: they do not have to match Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby point-for-point.
Pittsburgh Offense vs. Tampa Bay Defense
Pittsburgh Penguins Offense: +4.0 GVT (Rank: 13th in NHL)
Tampa Bay Lightning Defense: +5.8 GVT (Rank: 12th in NHL)
Tampa Bay Lightning Goaltending: -16.3 GVT (Rank: 25th in NHL)
Total: Pittsburgh Penguins, +14.5 GVT
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