Lightning (7-2-2) at Kings (8-3-0)
Season Series: Tonight marks the first and only meeting of the season between the two teams. All-time, the Lightning hold a 16-5-2 series advantage in 25 games played.
|Nov 14, 2009||LAK@TBL||LAK, 2 - 1|
The Big Story: Both Tampa Bay and Los Angeles come in as the NHL’s two best teams in the points standings, as both led their respective conferences following the first month of the season and enter tonight’s contest with 16 points apiece. Tampa Bay posts an all-time record of 10-1-2 in Los Angeles, which could bode well for superstar center Steven Stamkos as he faces off against Drew Doughty, who was drafted immediately after the reigning Rocket Richard winner with the second overall pick in 2008.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay plays in its third back-to-back set of the season tonight in Los Angeles, which is also its third game on the team’s four-game road trip. The Lightning have posted a 2-0-0 record in the back half of games on consecutive nights this season and look to extend the streak following a hard-fought 3-2 overtime loss in Anaheim last night. Despite the defeat, Tampa Bay earned a point for the ninth time in 11 games this season, as it got a pair of goals from Blair Jones and Steven Stamkos, including one on the power play. Dan Ellis, who entered the game with a shutout streak of 113:35, finished with 27 saves in his fifth straight appearance.
KINGS – Los Angeles plays for the second time tonight at home, as the team finds itself in the middle of a five-game home stand. The Kings are off to a hot start, coming in with the NHL’s best record at 8-3-0 and leading the league with 16 points. They have won four out of their last five games, including their most recent contest on Saturday against the visiting Devils. Justin Williams, Michal Handzus and Jarret Stoll each scored to support a 39-save effort by Jonathan Quick.
Who’s Hot: Steven Stamkos has 14 points in his last seven games and Martin St. Louis has nine points in his last seven as well. Nate Thompson also has recorded an assist in three of his last four contests for the Bolts. Los Angeles’ Justin Williams has three goals in as many games and is riding a five-game point streak, while Jarret Stoll and Jack Johnson each have four points in their last two games.
Injury Report: LIGHTNING – Matt Smaby (ankle sprain, day-to-day), Dominic Moore (lower body, day-to-day) and Simon Gagne (neck, day-to-day, placed on Injured Reserve). KINGS – Scott Parse (lower body).
Quotable: “You want to win games, you have to pay the price. Sometimes, it's blocking shots. It’s actually pretty cool. There’s a price for everything. Are you willing to pay for it?” – Martin St. Louis, on the team’s successful shot-blocking ability
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