Lightning (1-1-0, 2 Points) at Hurricanes (0-1-0, 0 Points)
TV/Radio: Sun Sports HD; AM 970 WFLA
It’s the first of five meetings between the division rivals. The clubs split the six-game season set last season at three games apiece, with the Lightning winning once in overtime.
The Big Story:
Tampa Bay is looking to rebound from its first loss of the season, a 4-3 defeat at the Islanders on Monday, while it also is competing in the second half of the first back-to-back set of the season. The Bolts posted a record of 4-5-1 in the finale of games on consecutive nights last season. For Carolina, well, it’s still looking for its first victory of the year after dropping the season opener on Saturday against the division-rival Panthers.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay concludes its first road trip of the season on Tuesday and will return home to open up a five-game home stand that kicks off Friday against Ottawa. The Lightning look to earn a win against the Hurricanes not only to erase the effects of the team’s first loss of the season, but also to return home with some momentum heading into the approaching home set. Martin St. Louis, Benoit Pouliot and Steven Stamkos all scored third-period goals in succession on Monday at the Islanders, but the only problem was the Lightning had already spotted New York a four-goal lead through the first two periods. Thus, the valiant comeback effort, while exciting, fell just short as the Bolts suffered their first defeat in a game during which goaltender Anders Lindback, who looked phenomenal at times, stopped 40 of 44 shots.
HURRICANES – Carolina will host the Lightning in the team’s home opener after it started the season on the road with a 5-1 loss to the Panthers down in Sunrise. Tuesday’s game will be the first of a two-game home stand in Raleigh. On Saturday against Florida, a whole lot didn’t go so right for the Canes, especially not early. Florida scored four goals in succession all in the first period to take a commanding lead after just 20 minutes. Alex Kovalev added a fifth for the Panthers at the start of the second, with Carolina’s Patrick Dwyer notching the only goal of the game for the Hurricanes that cut the deficit to four. Former Lightning goaltender Dan Ellis came into the game in relief of Cam Ward, who was yanked during the first period after allowing four goals on 12 shots. Ellis went on to make 12 saves.
For the Lightning, Martin St. Louis has recorded three goals and two assists in his first two games, while rookie Cory Conacher has registered multi-point efforts in each of his first two career NHL games. For Carolina, Patrick Dwyer has the Hurricanes’ only goal this season, while Justin Faulk and Joni Pitkanen each have recorded one assist.
“You obviously have to rely on your goaltender, but you don't want to rely on him too much, like we did [Monday]. Last game, we played terrific defense and [Monday] that wasn't the case. We did good in the first and pretty good in the third, but in the second we opened it up and it cost us. We can't leave him [goalie Anders Lindback] alone like that. Too many breakaways and 2-on-1s, definitely.” – Lightning head coach Guy Boucher, on what was the cause of Monday’s 4-3 loss to the Islanders
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