Carolina 4-4-2; Tampa Bay 5-3-2
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This is the middle game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Metropolitan Division foe the Carolina Hurricanes. The Bolts blanked Carolina, 3-0, in their first meeting, as Victor Hedman, Steven Stamkos and Alex Killorn all tallied goals and Ben Bishop picked up his second shutout of the year.
Posting points in seven of their last eight games, the Bolts look for their fourth straight win Saturday versus Carolina. Goaltender Ben Bishop has also shutout the ‘Canes in each of his past two starts, making 76 combined saves.
LIGHTNING – With Victor Hedman’s return to the lineup Thursday, the Lightning grew ever closer to being a more complete team. Adding a helper on the first tally of the game it was as if the newly 24-year-old blueliner had not missed a beat. The Lightning nursed a 2-0 and 4-2 lead during the contest, which allowed Tampa Bay to stay within its defensive structure they have been trying to encompass this campaign. Netminder Anders Lindback finally found the goal support he was looking for, as he picked up his third win of the season.
HURRICANES – In the second game of back-to-back Carolina comes to the Times Forum after surrendering a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Washington Capitals. The Hurricanes struck first in the contest, but the Caps tallied the next two markers. Adding one more midway through the game Carolina cut the lead by one, but Washington added two more, including Alex Ovechkin’s 400th career goal. It was the ‘Canes fourth loss in five games, as they currently sit in fourth place in the Metropolitan Division standings.
Lightning – D Keith Aulie (upper body, out), D Brian Lee (knee, out), F Ryan Malone (lower body, out), F Tom Pyatt (broken collarbone, day-to-day), F Steven Stamkos (broken right tibia, out); G Anton Khudobin (lower body, out), D Joni Pitkanen (out)
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