Smith in nets for 3pm matinee game against the Capitals
A Sunday afternoon road game marks a bit of a change in routine for the Lightning, who are pretty accustomed to playing in the evening all the time. The schedulemakers set this game against the Capitals for 3pm as NBC held it as a "flex-game" until about 2 weeks ago, holding the option to televise the contest nationally.
The network instead elected to carry Detroit and the Pittsburgh Penguins nationally. That game will be televised at 12:30pm and the Lightning-Caps will air at 3:00pm on Sun Sports.
Today's game will be an interesting one for sure as the Capitals look to avenge a 7-4 loss at the St. Pete Times Forum just three weeks ago. The Lightning played one of its best games of the year in that contest, not only outscoring the Capitals but taking it to them physically as well as Steve Downie squared off twice with Alex Ovechkin.
Keys for the Bolts today will be coming out early and playing that same kind if physical, passionate style that led to success in the previous meeting. Mike Smith will be back in goal for Tampa Bay and he will need to be on his game as the Washington snipers take aim at his net. And finally Tampa Bay will have to play agressive and mistake-free. Coach Rick Tocchet acknowledged yesterday that the Caps might be able to play ok and win this game, but that the Lightning can not expect to do that.
The Capitals will be without defenseman Mike Green, who was recently suspended for three games, the result of an errant elbow.