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Penguins hoping to end slide vs. Lightning

Tampa Bay (17-24-10) at Pittsburgh (24-23-5), 7:30 pm EST

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- With each passing game, the chances of

the Pittsburgh Penguins missing the playoffs continue to grow.

The Penguins will attempt to snap a three-game losing streak

Wednesday, when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Despite sitting in 10th place in the Eastern Conference,

Pittsburgh is still considered a lock for the postseason by many

hockey experts with two of the NHL's biggest stars on the

roster.

Despite All-Stars Evgeni Malkin and captain Sidney Crosby

combining for 42 goals and 144 points this season, the Penguins

have won consecutive games once since mid-November.

As a result - with 30 games left in the season, Pittsburgh is

three points out of the final playoff spot in the East.

Malkin and rookie Luca Caputi scored in Tuesday's 4-2 setback to

the Montreal Canadiens. It was the 20-year-old Caputi's first

career goal.

The Lightning have also lost three games in a row after dropping

a 3-1 decision to the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

Captain Vincent Lecavalier netted the lone goal in that one for

Tampa Bay, which defeated the Penguins, 2-0, on December 23 in

their last meeting.

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