Tampa Bay and Carolina Meet for Fifth Time this Season
The Tampa Bay Lightning take to the road after six straight games at home when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes at the RBC Center in Raleigh tonight.
Tonight’s contest, the fifth of six meetings between these two clubs, will be the final visit for the Lightning to Carolina this season. Tampa Bay is 0-1-1 in their previous two games against the Hurricanes at the RBC Center.
The Lightning, 19-27-12, will be looking to get some traction as they head into the stretch run of their schedule. They went 2-3-1 through the recently-completed homestand, but were winless in their last three games, including a shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.
The Lightning have scored six goals over the previous three games, but those goals came from only two skaters; Steven Stamkos had a hat trick, the first rookie in Lightning franchise history to do so, on Tuesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks, and Ryan Malone, who had one goal against the Washington Capitals Saturday night, and two against the New Jersey Devils. Malone now has 21 goals on the season, second-best on the Lightning just four behind team leader Vincent Lecavalier with 25. Martin St. Louis continues to pace the team in points on the season with 55.
Carolina (29-25-5), are battling for the eighth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference. They currently trail both the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers by three points for the playoff spot. The Hurricanes are 3-3-0 over their previous six games, including a 6-2 win over the New York Islanders last evening on Long Island.
Forward Ray Whitney leads Carolina in points this season with 47 while Eric Staal is setting the pace in goals scored with 26.
Following tonight’s game, Tampa Bay will return to the St. Pete Times Forum to host the Boston Bruins on Sunday, after which they leave for an extended swing through western Canada.