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The Tampa Bay Lightning will look to break into the win column when they host the Southeast Division rival Carolina Hurricanes at the St. Pete Times Forum tonight.
The contest, the middle game in a three-game Bolt home stand, will be the second of six regular season meetings between the teams. On October 6th, the Lightning fell in a shootout, 2-1, in Raleigh.
Tampa Bay (0-1-2) will be looking to bounce back from a heartbreaking shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils Thursday night in Tampa. The Bolts battled hard in that game only to see their winning margin disappear with one second remaining to be played.
Despite the loss, the Bolts took a point from the game and Coach Rick Tocchet took some additional encouragement when he said, “The second and third periods were as good as I’ve seen the Tampa Bay Lightning play in a year and a half.”
Forward Steven Stamkos connected on two goals and rookie defenseman Victor Hedman earned two assists, including one on a picture-perfect cross-ice pass to Todd Fedoruk. Marty St. Louis, also with two assists on the night, owns the team lead in points with five.
The Hurricanes (2-2-0) arrive in town for the back end of games on two consecutive nights, having soundly defeated the Florida Panthers last night in Raleigh by a score of 7-2. This will be the first road game of the season for Carolina.
Until last night, scoring had proven to be a challenge for the Hurricanes early in the season but Carolina broke out last night with seven goals from seven different players. Carolina goaltender Cam Ward has been equally stingy with the scores in the Carolina end, posting a 2.54 goals against average with a .920 save percentage.
The Lightning will be trying to reverse a trend which has seen them winless against the Hurricanes in their last seven games, dating back through last season.
Following tonight’s game, the Tampa Bay will continue to enjoy their home arena for one more contest, Monday night against the Florida Panthers, before heading out to Ottawa and Pittsburgh for two games.
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