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Tuesday’s 7:30 p.m. contest at the Tampa Bay Times Forum is the first of two games slated between the Lightning and the Western Conference’s Los Angeles Kings. Despite losing 3-1 on February 7, 2012, the Lightning still hold an all-time record of 16-7-4 against Los Angeles and have gone 3-1-2 versus the Kings in their last six meetings on home ice.
The Big Story:
The Bolts look to get back in the “W” column after snapping their three-game winning streak Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Lightning and the Kings have two of the league’s best power-plays, with the Bolts ranking fourth (31.6%) and Los Angeles ranking tied for 8th (25%) in the NHL. However, the Lightning have struggled on the penalty kill (26th in the NHL), while the Kings are one of the tops in the league.
LIGHTNING – Allowing the Penguins to score three power-play goals, Tampa Bay went to work on addressing their penalty kill Monday after Saturday’s 5-4 loss. While struggling during shorthanded situations, the Bolts’ power-play has tallied at least one goal in four straight games, including two on the man advantage in their past two contests.
With a solid penalty kill through the preseason, the power-play struggled. Now special teams have reversed roles come the regular season. This led to head coach Jon Cooper noting that consistency is key for the Lightning this year if the team hopes to compete at a high level with a stacked Atlantic Division.
Netminder Ben Bishop re-joined the Lightning for Monday’s practice, since missing time after his third straight victory over the Florida Panthers. Bishop said there were “no problems” Monday and according to Cooper is available to start Tuesday night’s game.
KINGS – Losing two of three games to start the season, Los Angeles is now riding a three-game winning streak, outscoring opponents 9-4 during that stretch. The Kings most recently shut out the Panthers, 3-0, in their second game of a four-game road trip that includes the Carolina Hurricanes, Florida, the Bolts and the Nashville Predators. Three of the Kings first six games have gone to overtime.
Lightning center Valtteri Filppula has been a factor in each of the Bolts first five games this season and also skated in a career-high 25:32 total ice time, while chipping in a first period goal Saturday. Forwards Martin St. Louis and Teddy Purcell are both riding four-game point streaks. Kings’ forwards Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar have five points apiece through Los Angeles’ first six games.
Tampa Bay’s Purcell was acquired from Los Angeles with a third round draft pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft in exchange for Jeff Halpern on March 3, 2010.
Twitter Stat Pack:
The #TBLightning power-play ranks third in the @NHL at 31.6%.
The #Bolts @NateThompson44 has gone 29-for-43 (67.4%) in the face-off circle through five #TBLightning games this season.
Martin St. Louis is one point shy of 900 in a #TBLightning uniform.
The #TBLightning have only allowed five even strength goals through five games in 2013-14.
The #Bolts @TeddyPurcell16 played in 91 games for the @LAKings from 2007-08 to 2009-10, recording 25 points.
“We applied a lot of pressure on the penalty kill in the preseason and early season games, and for whatever reason, we weren’t against Pittsburgh. We addressed where we need to be on the penalty kill and we’ll talk tomorrow a little bit more because it’s a pretty big part of the game. You can pretty much count on being shorthanded six to 10 minutes a game and we have to be on top of it in those situations it’s a pretty big point of emphasis for us.” – Head coach Jon Cooper on addressing the penalty kill
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