Congratulations to Ohlund and Niittymaki; Lineup Notes For Tonight
The Lightning's five-game home stand continues tonight as they host the Boston Bruins at the St. Pete Times Forum. The Bolts have started the stand 1-1-0 and are coming off a 4-3 win against Atlanta on Saturday.
With three players on the IR (Halpern, Fedoruk, Walker) the roster will remain the same as Saturday for Tampa Bay. Mike Smith will get the call in between the pipes for the Lightning, his fourth consecutive start. The four games in a row started will be Smith's longest streak of the season.
Rick Tocchet had positive things to say about Vincent Lecavalier's recent play this morning. He said Lecavalier's work on Steve Downie's goal Saturday was what they needed more of from the captain. The tally was a result of Lecavalier going to the net and the coaching staff would like to see more of that from him. Tocchet also said he has done a great job getting the puck to Kurtis Foster and his booming shot on the power play. Lecavalier ranks third on the team in goals with nine and is tied for second with 36 points.
Blair Jones was also a topic of conversation this morning as Tocchet said he has made a great impression. By the head coach's account, Jones was one of the Lightning's best forwards last game and has been "one of our best wall guys the last three games". Tocchet also said his willingness to block shots and ability to take face offs from the right side are key. He said once he gets confidence in the NHL the goals will come.
Congratulations are in order to both Mattias Ohlund and Antero Niittymaki. Ohlund was selected to represent Sweden in the 2010 Olympics in its gold medal defense. It should be fun for him as he gets to return to Vancouver, where he spent the first 11 years of his career. 2010 marks Ohlund's fourth Winter Olympic Games. Niittymaki was and his wife, Miina, welcomed their second child to the world around 7 p.m. on Saturday. Alina Josefina, born a tad bit premature, weighed five pounds, three ounces, but she is progressing just fine.
For those of you who aren't paying attention to the World Junior Championships taking place in Canada, Lightning prospect Richard Panik currently has three goals and five points in two games for Slovakia. Entering games today he was tied for the tournament lead in goals and was tied for third in points.
Don't forget Wednesday's game against the Montreal Canadiens is a 7 p.m. start due to national broadcast in Canada. It will not be televised locally, so Lightning fans are going to need to head to the box office to see this one.