Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Tampa Bay Lightning
Atlanta
Thrashers
43-28-11
Tampa Bay
Lightning
44-33-5

game preview

Thrashers-Lightning Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

Associated Press

Share with your Friends


Thrashers-Lightning Preview
Atlanta Thrashers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

The Atlanta Thrashers and Tampa Bay Lightning both look to build on impressive wins Friday when the Southeast Division rivals meet for the fourth time this season.

Division-leading Atlanta (13-7-3) snapped a season-high four-game losing streak with a 4-2 win at Washington Wednesday in a fight-filled game. The Thrashers trailed 2-0 in the second period, but scored the next four goals, including the 300th of Bobby Holik's career that tied the game.

In the final minutes of the contest, several fights broke out after an initial scuffle between Atlanta's Steve Rucchin and Washington defenseman Shaone Morrisonn. In total, there were a combined 176 penalty minutes, 144 of those handed out in the final 1:02 of play.

Atlanta forward Scott Mellanby was suspended one game while coach Bob Hartley was fined $10,000 Thursday for their actions in the game.

Holik said his milestone goal wasn't the most important thing to come from the game.

"Whether it's 300 or 299, the number makes no difference to me," Holik said. "It's the win that matters."

The victory was Atlanta's first since Nov. 8 against Ottawa, and gave the Thrashers a two-point lead over defending Stanley Cup champion Carolina in the Southeast.

Tampa Bay (11-10-1) stayed six points behind the Thrashers in the division and avoided a season high-tying third straight loss with a 6-4 win at Florida on Wednesday.

The Lightning took a 2-0 lead after the first period, but trailed 3-2 heading into the third before scoring four times in the final period.

"Give them high marks," said Lightning coach John Tortorella, whose team was outscored 11-3 while losing each of its previous two games. "They battled through that and it could have gone either way, so it's good stuff."

Brad Richards had two goals, Ryan Craig had two goals and an assist, Dan Boyle added a goal and two assists, and Martin St. Louis followed Monday's two-goal performance with a season-high three assists.

"We probably played a little more desperate," Richards said. "We needed a win. We knew we could take it to these guys like we did in the first period but we knew it wouldn't be easy."

Tampa Bay goaltender Johan Holmqvist made 31 saves Wednesday to improve to 6-1-0 with a 2.67 goals-against average in seven November starts. Holmqvist is expected to remain the starter while Marc Denis, who has lost his last five appearances, battles a groin strain and a bout with the flu.

Holmqvist made 27 saves in the Lightning's 5-3 home win over Atlanta on Nov. 11. The win helped Tampa Bay take a 2-1-0 lead in the season series.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 07 '07 TBL 2 at ATL 3 - SO J. Sim
Feb 22 '07 TBL 5 at ATL 4 - OT M. St. Louis
Dec 26 '06 TBL 1 at ATL 2 J. Slater
Dec 07 '06 ATL 0 at TBL 8 V. Lecavalier
Nov 24 '06 ATL 2 at TBL 3 - OT M. St. Louis
Nov 11 '06 ATL 3 at TBL 5 V. Lecavalier
Oct 09 '06 ATL 1 at TBL 0 V. Kozlov
Oct 05 '06 TBL 3 at ATL 2 - SO V. Lecavalier