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Playoff Scoreboard Watch: Galapagos Edition

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Tonight, the normally Antarctic Penguins go tropical as they visit Tampa for Game 3.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight marks the first Conference Finals location shift, as the Pittsburgh Penguins head south to the home of the Tampa Bay Lightning.  With any luck, the dirty ice-birds go belly-up in the warm Gulf waters.  No, that's not a metaphor, I hear the ice at Amalie Arena is awful so they're just going to play in the slush on skis.  Hahaha hockey in warm climates...

LAST GAME'S RECAP

Last night, the Sharks absolutely took it to the St. Louis Blues to come away with a 4-0 victory and a tied series heading back to San Jose.  Everything was firing on all cylinders for the Sharks, while the Blues couldn't really get any cylinders firing.  It's not that the Blues were bad, they just couldn't get the job done.  Consider the gauntlet of "WE ARE THE BIGGEST CHOKERS" thrown by St. Louis.  Maybe the Sharks can respond by choking even harder in Game 3...?

TONIGHT'S ACTION

Pittsburgh Penguins at Tampa Bay Lightning (Game 3), 8:00PM EDT - NBCSN

In Game 2, these two teams played VERY close hockey but the Penguins were able to seal the deal in overtime.  Tied at 1 game each, Pittsburgh will have their work cut out for them if anybody still believes in home-ice advantage this far into the playoffs.  Losing Game 1 and failing to dominate Game 2, the Penguins need to have some serious get-up-and-go tonight if they expect to hang on in this series.  Look for Tyler Johnson to have a big game for the Lightning, as his fish face moves around easier in the Amalie Arena waters than on the solid ice at Consol Energy Center.

Why You Care Enough To Watch: Whether you're driven by old hate or new hate, this is the series where you can expect one team to rise up and outperform the other.  San Jose and St. Louis almost have the feel of "just out-last the other squad because eventually the wheels will fall off".  While the schadenfreude of laughing as another team collapses can be cathartic and fun sometimes, you need to balance it out with watching two teams battle it out with one squad rising to the challenge and coming out on top.  This series will be that balance.