Sabres Game Day Primer
The Tampa Bay Lightning skated Tuesday morning to prepare for their contest tonight against the Buffalo Sabres. Tonight signals the lone home game this week in a stretch that also includes four straight to be played on the road following tonight’s game.
Here are a few notes from Tuesday morning’s on-ice session:
LINEUPS, INJURIES AND ILLNESSES
Mathieu Garon will get the start in net tonight against the Sabres.
Garon has appeared in each of the past two games for the Lightning, once as a starter on Saturday at Carolina and again on Sunday in relief of Anders Lindback.
On the season, Garon is 2-4-0 with a .917 save percentage and a 2.75 goals-against average, but went 3-0-0 against Buffalo last season, posting a 1.33 goals against average and .954 save percentage.
As for the rest of the lineup, head coach Guy Boucher is debating going with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, but has not made a final decision yet.
On the injury front, Ryan Malone skated Tuesday morning in an orange jersey, while Boucher said he hopes to see Malone back in the lineup soon.
“It’s a step and we hope to see him soon, but it won’t be tonight,” Boucher said. “He’s not three weeks away, but it also won’t be today or the next day.”
NOTES AND NUMBERS
-Steven Stamkos and Thomas Vanek rank first and fourth, respectively, in league scoring this season with 29 and 25 points, respectively
-Steven Stamkos enters tonight's game on a five-game goal scoring streak, recording six goals during that stretch, and is tied for first in the league with 13 goals this season
-Vincent Lecavalier ranks fifth in the NHL with 201 faceoff wins
-The Lightning are 83-35-13 when Steven Stamkos scores a goal since the start of the 2009-10 season
-Martin St. Louis has tallied a goal and 18 assists over his past 15 games and ranks first in the NHL in assists with 20
QUOTES TO NOTE
Ryan Malone, speaking about his injury:
“It’s exciting for me to get back on the ice with the guys, but it’s a process and we’ll continue to evaluate it and take it from there.”
Guy Boucher, speaking about how to prepare against the Buffalo Sabres:
“I don’t see them as having a tough time. We have to play the same way whether it’s Pittsburgh or Boston. I don’t care what their record is. For us, it’s not about Buffalo. We have to play the same we play and continue evolving and progressing.”