2011 NHL Playoff Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning

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2011 NHL Playoff Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Tampa Bay Lightning will square off in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in the history of either franchise.

The Penguins are making their fifth straight playoff appearance, while the Lightning are in the postseason for the first time since 2007.

There are many factors that will cause the teams to succeed or stumble in this Eastern Conference Semifinals:

How will the Penguins really fare without Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin?

Do Lightning veterans Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier still have what it takes to keep up with the intensity of the postseason?

In a battle of young, talented coaches, will Dan Bylsma or Guy Boucher come out victorious?

Check out what each team has to offer as we anticipate the drop of the puck on Wednesday night.

 

Alison Myers is an NHL and Pittsburgh Penguins Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. You may contact her with any questions, comments or writing opportunities by sending an e-mail to Alison.Myers@mail.com.

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