Last 10: Tampa Bay (7-2-1); New York (2-8-0)
Season Series: Today marks the fourth and final contest of the season between the two clubs, with the Lightning holding a 3-0 advantage in the season series. Tampa Bay collected two victories at the St. Pete Times Forum on Dec. 5 and Feb. 4, and will attempt to match that number on the road this afternoon on Long Island where the Bolts earned a 4-2 on Dec. 21.
|Feb 4, 2010||NYI@TBL||TBL, 5 - 2|
|Dec 21, 2009||TBL@NYI||TBL, 4 - 2|
|Dec 5, 2009||NYI@TBL||TBL, 4 - 0|
The Big Story: Tampa Bay goes for the four-game season series sweep this afternoon against the Islanders, who have won just two of their previous 10 matches. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, has won eight of the last 12 and has scored at least four goals in each game this season against New York, outnumbering the Isles 13-4 in terms of goals. Martin St. Louis, who had a pair of goals for the second straight game on Thursday, and Steven Stamkos both come in with active point streaks and have combined to score 18 of the team’s last 26 goals.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay will play its first game of a back-to-back set today at the Nassau Coliseum before traveling to Madison Square Garden to take on the Rangers tomorrow afternoon, with the two-game road swing concluding play until after the Olympic break. Tampa Bay has won seven of its last 10 games, with the team’s most recent contest, a 5-4 defeat at the hands of the Bruins on Thursday, serving as just the second regulation loss since Jan. 19. Martin St. Louis and Steve Downie each scored twice the for the Bolts, and Victor Hedman joined Steven Stamkos on the score sheet with three assists to record a career-high. St. Louis’ pair of goals sparked a resurgent comeback of four unanswered points to trim a five-goal deficit that was capped by Downie’s 13th of the season, which earned the Lightning winger a career-high five-game point streak.
ISLANDERS – New York opens a three-game stand at the Nassau Coliseum where they’ve won just one of the last four after putting together a string of six consecutive victories there from Dec. 29 to Jan. 1. The Islanders come into today as losers of nine out of the last 11 overall, with the team’s latest defeat coming on Wednesday in a 3-1 loss to the Penguins. Frans Nielsen scored the lone goal for New York, who has failed to score more than two goals in nine of their last 10 contests.
Who’s Hot: Steven Stamkos is riding a career-high point streak which has spanned 11 games, recording eight goals and 11 assists, and Martin St. Louis has amassed nine goals and five assists in eight straight. Steve Downie also enters tonight’s contest on a career-high five-game streak with seven points in that span.
- The Islanders’ Bruno Gervais and Rob Schremp each have two points in as many games.
Injury Report: LIGHTNING – David Hale (lower body, placed on Injured Reserve). ISLANDERS – Jack Hillen (jaw, out 6-8 weeks), Josh Bailey (upper body, out 2 weeks), Tim Jackman (face, out 3 weeks) and Radek Martinek (knee, out for season).
Quotable: “It’s something to build on. It shows that we’re not a team that gives up. We were battling right until the end of the game, and now we’ve got to carry that third period onto the road. We need these points before the break.” – Lightning forward Steve Downie, referring to a resurgent comeback on Thursday against Boston
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