Matt Walker expected to return to lineup tonight versus New Jersey
Coming to you from chilly New Jersey where a light dusting of snow greeted the Lightning this morning. The team is staying about 25 minutes from the arena in Newark so the players' day has been compressed a bit for tonight's 7 p.m. game against Martin Brodeur and the Devils. New Jersey leads the Eastern Conference standings with 61 points and its 89 goals against are the fewest in the league, so getting traffic in front of Brodeur will be important for the Bolts if they want to win tonight.
Head Coach Rick Tocchet told the media this morning that defenseman Matt Walker is ready to play after missing the past few games with an injury. Walker will be back in the lineup and Andrej Meszaros will watch the game from the press box. Meszaros admitted to the media that he hasn't been playing up to his standards. Tocchet mentioned that Tampa Bay needs to play defensively responsible tonight, especially against a team that makes so few mistakes. He hopes Walker can pick up that part of the game on the blueline for Tampa Bay.
Aside from the addition of Walker to the lineup, look for the rest of the Bolts in-game roster to remain the same. Additionally Jeff Halpern looks ready to return to the lineup, if not tomorrow in Philadelphia, sometime next week during the upcoming two-game homestand.
As we mentioned earlier, gametime is 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on Sun Sports with Rick Peckham and Bobby "the Chief" Taylor handling the call. Please note, Lightning fans, that tomorrow's game in Philadelphia against the Flyers will be televised on CW 44 as a "High Voltage Saturday Night" telecast.