Last 10: Tampa Bay (3-6-1); Colorado (4-3-3)
Season Series: This is the second and final meeting between the two teams this season. On Nov. 30, the Avalanche picked up two points with a win at the St. Pete Times Forum. Tonight, the Lightning hope to return the favor at the Pepsi Center.
The Big Story: The Avalanche are tied for the second-best mark in the NHL with the least amount of regulation losses at home this season, posting a record of 7-3-2 at the Pepsi Center. The Bolts seek to add an additional tally in Colorado’s loss column, but face a challenge as they may be without their two top goal scorers in Ryan Malone and Steven Stamkos, who both took an early exit in Tampa Bay’s last game on Wednesday against Edmonton due to injuries. They are listed as day-to-day.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay embarks on its longest road trip of 2009-10 beginning with tonight’s contest against Colorado. Following the game in Denver, the Lightning will travel to Chicago, Nashville, Detroit, St. Louis and Long Island before returning home to the Times Forum on Dec. 23. Both Ryan Malone and Steven Stamkos are listed as day-to-day with lower and upper body injuries respectively. Center Blair Jones, who was called up from Norfolk of the AHL last week before being reassigned after two games, has been summoned once again for his second stint of NHL action this season.
AVALANCHE – Tonight’s game is the second for Colorado in their current five-game home stand. The Avalanche did not open the set well, as they fell to Minnesota 1-0 on Wednesday night. Goaltender Craig Anderson has missed the previous four games due to a neck injury, but has practiced in recent days including Wednesday’s morning skate in preparation for the contest against the Wild. Colorado holds a 6-1-1 record against teams from the Eastern Conference this season, while Tampa Bay has posted a 3-2-3 mark in eight games against Western Conference clubs.
- Martin St. Louis has totaled four points in his last three.
- Colorado’s Wojtek Wolski has recorded 10 points in his last eight contests, while teammate Chris Stewart has tallied four points in his last three.
Injury Report: LIGHTNING – Ryan Malone (lower body, day-to-day), Steven Stamkos (upper body, day-to-day); AVALANCHE – Craig Anderson (neck, day-to-day), Kyle Cumiskey (foot, out indefinitely, placed on Injured Reserve), David Jones (knee, out four-six months, placed on Injured Reserve) and Ruslan Salei (back, out indefinitely, placed on Injured Reserve).
Quotable: "Teams go through injuries. It’s our turn and you’ve got to suck it up. The guys that haven’t played much, the guys that have been asking to play more, here’s your chance. It’s put up or shut up for some of those guys. They want ice time, they’re going to get it. Let’s see what they’ve got." – Lightning head coach Rick Tocchet
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