Last 10: Tampa Bay (2-6-2); Nashville (5-3-2)
Season Series: Tonight marks the first and only meeting between the Lightning and Predators.
The Big Story: The Bolts have gone 8-3-2 all-time in 13 games against the Predators, earning 18 out of a possible 26 points and posting a .615 winning percentage. Tampa Bay has had even more success on the road against the Predators, marked by a 5-2-0 record in seven games played in the Music City in which the Bolts have outscored the Preds 18-13. Nashville has not won a game against Tampa Bay in nearly seven years, with the last coming in January of 2003.
LIGHTNING – Tonight’s game signals the midpoint of the team’s longest road trip of the season. Tampa Bay’s penalty kill unit has been perfect in the first two contests of the current six-game stretch. Against Colorado last Friday, the Bolts killed all three Avalanche power play opportunities and continued the trend against Chicago on Sunday. Tampa Bay went 7-7 against the Blackhawks, killing off two consecutive 5-on-3 disadvantages to begin the game. The Bolts PK unit is 10-10 combined on their current set, equaling a 100 percent success rate. The Lightning have also killed 24 out of the last 25 opposing power plays. Tampa Bay goaltender Mike Smith looks to add to the success of the Lightning special teams, as he has gone 3-1-0 in his career against Nashville, including one shutout and a 2.00 goals against average.
PREDATORS – This is Nashville’s only home game before heading into a three-game road trip beginning on Thursday in Edmonton. In fact, the Predators plays six of their next eight on the road. Tonight’s contest also marks the second of two games in a back-to-back set for the Predators. The club is 3-2-0 on the tail end of back-to-back sets this season and is coming off a 5-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets last night, with Steve Sullivan recording the hat trick. Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne owns a 2-0-2 record in his last four starts and is 13-3-2 in his last 18 decisions.
Who’s Hot: - Steve Downie has recorded four points in his last seven games and Martin St. Louis has tallied three in as many contests.
- Nashville’s Martin Erat has tallied nine points in his last six games, including six goals.
Injury Report: LIGHTNING – None; PREDATORS – Jordin Tootoo (lower body).
Quotable: “We can’t let ourselves get too far behind, but I think we did a great job with those early PKs [penalty kills]. We can really gain some momentum from those and we have to take what we can from those since we haven’t been getting much offensively.” – Lightning forward James Wright, on the success of the Lightning penalty kill unit in the first period against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday at the United Center.\
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