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After a day off on Wednesday, the Lightning are back at it tonight when Sidney Crosby and the Penguins visit for the first time this season. The local media are billing the match-up as a meeting of the two best players in the NHL right now, and how can you argue as Vinny Lecavalier and Crosby will line up side by side for the opening face-off at the All-Star game in Atlanta later this month.
Crosby not only brings out the fans in the cities he visits, he also brings out the media. The St. Pete Times Forum locker room area was a lot busier than usual this morning as the local tv sports crews and newspaper columnists joined the usual folks to pump up the Vinny vs. Sidney showdown. The Lightning have had Pittsburgh’s number for awhile heading into this one, but the Penguins are the hottest team in the East right now. All I can say for sure is – it’s always an entertaining game for the fans when these two teams meet!
Lightning goaltender Karri Ramo was outstanding in the third period Tuesday night in New York as the Lightning got a much-needed win. While the team was on a steady parade to the penalty box the entire period, Ramo withstood the barrage from Jagr, Gomez, Drury, Shanahan and Co. Ramo said after he was glad he had a chance to make a difference after his early-game flub led to NY’s first goal. Ramo is expected back in the net tonight, and it looks like Nick Tarnasky will be back in after sitting out the past two. Andreas Karlsson looks to be the Lightning’s scratch tonight.
On the injury front, Dan Boyle skated with the team again this morning and is making steady progress, while Michel Ouellet was seen walking the halls without his shoulder in a sling for the first time since his injury. Still no timetable on a return for either.
Finally, if you’re at the game tonight, make sure you check out the live penguins that will be on the main concourse before tonight’s game courtesy of The Florida Aquarium. They’ll be making appearances throughout the building during the game and will even show up on the ice during the first intermission.