The Tampa Bay Lightning will seek their first win of the season when they take on the Minnesota Wild at the St. Pete Times Forum this evening.
Fresh from two overtime losses, the Lightning will seek to build on their best third period of the season Thursday night against the Islanders, which saw the Lightning battle back two deficits and score three goals to force the extra stanza.
The Minnesota Wild make one of their rare visits to Tampa, but they are off to a fast start on this road trip, posting a 6-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday. The win boosted the Wild’s record to 3-0 for the brief season.
The Lightning hope to continue the offensive explosion they showed against the Islanders, with goals by Vincent Lecavalier, Vaclav Prospal and Ryan Malone. The play of the defense was an encouraging sign for Tampa Bay and the return of defenseman Paul Ranger seemed to stabilize the young group.
Minnesota, meanwhile, always known for tight defensive play, has enjoyed a plethora of scoring early in the season. Lead by winger Antti Miettinen, who is leading the league in goals with 5, and Mikko Koivu, who is leading the NHL with 9 points, and goaltender Niklas Backstrom, sporting a 2.33 Goals Against average the Wild have proven to be a foe with a well rounded game so far this season.
Tonight’s game will be the mid-point of a five game Lightning home stand, with Atlanta and San Jose yet to visit the Forum before Tampa Bay departs for a 2 game road swing.