Lightning (4-1-0, 8 Points) vs. Islanders (3-1-2, 8 Points)
Season Series: This is the first of four meetings between the two clubs this season and the 72nd meeting overall. Tonight’s game is also the first of two contests to be played at the St. Pete Times Forum this season, where the Lightning post a 20-12-2-2 record all-time against the Islanders.
The Big Story: Tampa Bay comes in as winners of four in a row at home dating
back to last season, and the Islanders come in as winners of two straight. The Lightning have won four of the last seven against the Islanders and outscored New York 9-2 in two games at home last season. Tampa Bay has also gained points in its last 10 consecutive home games against the Isles, posting a record of 8-0-2 and scoring a total of 37 goals in that span.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay continues its home stand tonight with the final game of the two-game set, which is also the front half of a back-to-back series. The Lightning will depart for Atlanta after the game tonight, as they take on the Thrashers tomorrow at Philips Arena. The Lightning have won both of their games played at home this season and look to continue the success coming off the team’s latest win, a 5-4 victory against Dallas on Monday night. Coach Guy Boucher was pleased with his team’s performance, as the Bolts converted on four out of five power play opportunities, while outshooting the Stars 44-19 in the game. Dominic Moore, Steven Stamkos and Steve Downie each scored with the man advantage and Sean Bergenheim added an even-strength tally in the win. Mike Smith made 15 saves to improve to 3-0-0 for the first time in his career.
ISLANDERS – New York comes to the St. Pete Times Forum tonight for its second game on the team’s four-game road trip, which got off to a good start on Monday, as they handed the Toronto Maple Leafs their first loss of the season in overtime. Toronto rallied from two goals down in the third period, but a pair of scores early in the game from Matt Moulson and John Tavares proved enough to lift New York over the unbeaten Leafs.
Who’s Hot: Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos has nine points in five games for the Lightning and teammate Steve Downie is not far behind with six points and four points in his last three games. Dominic Moore also has three points in as many contests for the Bolts. The Islanders’ John Tavares and PA Parenteau also each come in with three points in their last two outings.
Injury Report: LIGHTNING – Mattias Ohlund (knee, out 2 weeks), Vincent Lecavalier (hand, day-to-day); ISLANDERS – Josh Bailey (hip, day-to-day), Trent Hunter (foot, day-to-day), Rob Schremp (back, week-to-week), Mark Streit (shoulder, out indefinitely) and Kyle Okposo (shoulder, out indefinitely).
Quotable: “I’m all about work ethic and I want guys who are relentless and these guys are relentless. It’s not just a message. I think the message is very clear. I want reliable guys who are relentless to play against the top line on their side and that’s what they are.” – Head Coach Guy Boucher, when talking about the Nate Thompson line following the Lightning’s 5-4 win over Dallas
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