Maple Leafs Game Day Primer
The Tampa Bay Lightning traveled to Toronto yesterday to kick off a three-game road trip that begins tonight at the Air Canada Centre.
Here are a few notes from Wednesday morning leading up to the game:
LINEUPS, INJURIES AND ILLNESSES
Mathieu Garon was the first goaltender off the ice this morning, so it looks like he will get the start in net tonight against the Maple Leafs.
Victor Hedman did skate this morning and will be a game-time decision, as the defenseman said he would skate in pre-game warmups tonight and see how he feels, with a decision contingent on that.
Ryan Malone, who suffered an upper body injury on Monday night after absorbing a hit from Flyers tough guy Zac Rinaldo, will not only be out of the lineup tonight, but is expected to miss an extended period of time. Malone, who was placed on Injured Reserve by the team, did not make the trip to Canada with the team.
Filling in for Malone tonight in Toronto will be Pierre-Cedric Labrie, who in similar fashion, brings a big body to be utilized in front of the net.
According to head coach Guy Boucher, Benoit Pouliot is not ready to go tonight, but could possibly return as soon as this weekend for Saturday and Sunday’s back-to-back set against Ottawa and Winnipeg, respectively.
NOTES AND NUMBERS
-The Lightning have won their past two road games and will be looking for their first three-game road winning streak since March 26 to April 3, 2011
-Tampa Bay has picked up points in eight of their past nine games against the Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre, going 5-1-3 during that stretch
-Steven Stamkos has tallied at least a point in 23 of the Lightning's 29 games this season
-Martin St. Louis is two points shy of moving into the NHL's top-100 all-time career points list
-Martin St. Louis has also tallied a point in four consecutive games against the Maple Leafs
-Steven Stamkos has picked up points in five of his past six games against Toronto, notching three goals and three assists during that stretch
THEY SAID IT
Guy Boucher, on taking each game one at a time:
“We haven’t even looked at the standings. We’re focused on what we need to do and we’ll let the rest take care of itself.”