Last 10: Tampa Bay (6-4-0); Anaheim (6-4-0)
Season Series: Tampa Bay looks to even up the 2009-10 series with a win in the second and final meeting of the year between the two teams. The Lightning and Ducks met on November 19 at the Honda Center, where the Bolts stormed back from a three-goal deficit to force the game into overtime. Steve Downie and Ryan Malone each tallied a pair of points in the contest, earning the Bolts a point in the standings despite falling 4-3 in the extra session.
The Big Story: The surging Lightning are poised to push their season-high winning streak to four games after collecting two points in each of their first three on the team’s current home stand. Tampa Bay is 7-1-1 in its last nine at the St. Pete Times Forum and stands just one point out of the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Former Lightning and current Duck forward Evgeny Artyukhin makes his first appearance at the St. Pete Times Forum since being traded to Anaheim.
LIGHTNING – Tonight is the Bolts’ last match at home before hitting the road for two games against Southeast division rivals Washington and Atlanta. The Lightning have won four out their last five, including three in a row, with the latest victory coming on Wednesday night in a 3-0 shutout of Montreal. Antero Niittymaki stopped all 33 shots faced, while earning his fifth career shutout. The Lightning goaltender has gone 4-1-0 in five consecutive starts since Jan. 18 at Carolina with a .926 save percentage and a 2.11 goals-against average. Steven Stamkos scored on the power play against the Canadiens, marking the sixth straight game the team has scored with the man advantage. Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier also had goals for Tampa Bay. In addition, Kurtis Foster tallied his 100th career point with an assist in the win.
DUCKS – Anaheim comes into the St. Pete Times Forum looking to turn around its season-long thirteen-day, six-game road swing in which it has gone 1-3-0 entering tonight’s contest. Anaheim has scored just one goal in each of the three losses. The Ducks picked up an overtime victory in St. Louis after falling to the Sharks in their first game away from the Honda Center, but have dropped two straight. The latest defeat came on Wednesday at Washington, whose 5-1 victory was backed by a pair of goals by Alexander Semin. Ducks come into tonight with the fourth-worst record on the road in the NHL at 8-15-5.
Who’s Hot: Steven Stamkos has scored a goal in three straight and comes in with six points in his last four games. Martin St. Louis has four points in his last five and Vincent Lecavalier has amassed 12 points in his last eight. Defenseman Kurtis Foster also has recorded an assist in three consecutive games.
- Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan has four goals in his last six contests and Dan Sexton has tallied a pair of points in his last three. Corey Perry also has three points in his last five games for the Ducks.
Injury Report: LIGHTNING – None. DUCKS – Joffrey Lupul (back, out indefinitely) and Teemu Selanne (jaw, out 1-4 weeks).
Quotable: “We hadn’t won three together all year. We’re making a push here and we’ve got to get back in contention for the playoffs so three is not enough. We’ve got to keep it going.” – Lightning right wing Steve Downie
tampabaylightning.com is the official Web site of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa Bay Lightning and tampabaylightning.com are trademarks of Lightning Hockey L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 Lightning Hockey, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.