Lightning (15-10-4, 34 Points) at Canucks (15-8-3, 33 Points)
Last 10: Tampa Bay (5-3-2); Vancouver (5-4-1)
Season Series: Vancouver will host Tampa Bay in the first and final meeting of the season between the two clubs. Last season a pair of goals by Martin St. Louis led the Lightning to a 3-1 victory over the Canucks at the St. Pete Times Forum in the season’s only meeting on Feb. 6.
The Big Story: Both teams come in with similar point totals in each of their conference’s respective standings. The Lightning are seeking their first win in Vancouver in team history, as they have gone 0-8-2-1 all-time in 11 games played in the Canucks’ home arena. Steven Stamkos broke out of a six-game goal-scoring drought last night in Edmonton and looks to recharge the Lightning as the team seeks its first win on the current three-game road trip.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay concludes a three-game road trip tonight that began Tuesday in Calgary. Tonight is the latter half of the team’s seventh back-to-back set this season after it wrapped up its second game of the Western swing last night in Edmonton with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Oilers. Steven Stamkos scored for the first time since Nov. 24 to send the game into overtime and ensure the Lightning their 34th point, which came one shy of tying a franchise-best through the team’s first 29 games. Randy Jones also scored his first goal as a member of the Bolts last night, while Martin St. Louis enjoyed a career milestone as he passed Vincent Lecavalier on the franchise all-time list to move into sole possession of first place with 420 career assists in a Lightning uniform.
CANUCKS – Vancouver will host the Lightning for a one-game stint at home before taking a short trip to Edmonton for another single-game swing. Vancouver will then return back to its home arena for a two-game set. The Canucks have earned victories in five of their last six games and currently sit atop the Northwest Division. In those five wins, Vancouver has scored a total of 24 goals, while allowing just nine to the opposition. They have also won three of the last four at home, with the lone loss coming in a 3-2 defeat to the Blues on Sunday.
Who’s Hot: Ryan Malone is riding a six-game point streak with four goals and four assists in that span. Victor Hedman also has a goal and two assists in his last four games, while Nate Thompson and rookie Johan Harju each have points in two of the last three. Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin has eight points during his current six-game point streak.
Notable Quotable: “It's been a whirlwind of travel. It's been a lot, but we are trying to stay focused on the task at hand. The coaching staff is getting us prepared for every game for what we have to do, so we can't worry about the travel.” – Lightning defenseman Brett Clark, commenting on the challenges of traveling during the team’s three-game road trip through Western Canada
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