Lightning (2-0-0, preseason) vs. Blues (1-0-1, preseason)
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Trailing St. Louis 3-0 in the Lightning's first 2013-14 preseason game at Amway Center in Orlando, Tampa Bay rallied to earn the 4-3 shootout win. Friday's game will be the second and final time the Bolts and Blues meet in exhibition play, before seeing each other on November 2 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The Big Story:
Playing in their third consecutive game Friday, the Lightning hit the road for the first time tonight at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Tampa Bay has a chance to win their third straight game, including a two-game sweep of the Blues in the preseason, while St. Louis looks to earn their first win since Sunday, September 15. The Blues shootout loss to the Bolts on Wednesday was their second straight contest in which the skills competition was needed to decide the game.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay skates in their first away game of the season before returning to the Times Forum Saturday to complete their fourth game in four nights. The Lightning come into tonight's game winning back-to-back tilts, the first two of the preseason, and outscoring opponents nine goals to four. The Bolts included two different game groups for each of their first two games, but will change-up the roster for their next two contests. A handful of players will be skating in their second game in a row, including forwards Tyler Johnson, Richard Panik and Ondrej Palat, as well as defenseman Andrej Sustr and Keith Aulie. Netminders Ben Bishop and Anders Lindback are both listed on tonight's roster for the first time this preseason.
BLUES – St. Louis plays at the Scottrade Center for the second game of home-and-homes Friday and the first of back-to-back tilts that also features the Dallas Stars. The Blues are coming off Wednesday's late-game rally by the Lightning, in which Dmitrij Jaskin tallied two goals and Jaden Schwartz tallied another, but would ultimately fall to the Bolts. Jaroslav Halak is slated to appear between the pipes for St. Louis, while David Backes, Alexander Steen, T.J. Oshie and Alex Pietrangelo are among the Blues on the roster for the first time this preseason.
Tampa Bay's Brett Connolly, who is replacing forward Teddy Purcell tonight, had two goals in his first preseason game Thursday versus the Predators. Connolly potted two for the Lighting earlier this week during intra-squad scrimmages, while Palat and Richard Panik also contributed tallies in yesterday's win.
LIGHTNING – Teddy Purcell (Day-to-Day, Upper Body); BLUES – No Reported Injuries.
B.J. Crombeen and Eric Brewer are former members of the St. Louis Blues. Netminder Ben Bishop, who was acquired by the Lightning from Ottawa in April of 2013, was originally drafted by the Blues in the third round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
Twitter Stat Pack:
The Lightning will be looking for their third straight win tonight. The last time Tampa Bay won three in a row in the preseason was in 2010-11, against the Panthers in back-to-back games and the Canadiens.
Six different players have netted goals so far this preseason: Erne (2), Pyatt, Connolly (2), Palat, Stamkos, Panik. Valterri Filppula and Erne also tallied in the shootout.
"As you grow, as you mature as a person and a player that confidence comes. It's so hard to come into this league, I know firsthand what it's like to step in as a young guy, but as you continue to work hard and learn from so of the veteran guys you get that confidence and he [Connolly] has it right now. When you have it, it's a nice thing and you want it to last as long as possible. It's nice to see him get rewarded for the hard work." – Lightning Center Steven Stamkos
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