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Last 10:Tampa Bay (4-2-4); Atlanta (6-3-1) Season Series: Tonight marks the second of six meetings this year, and a crucial one with important divisional point implications as both the Lightning and Thrashers compete for the Southeast’s second spot. This is the first meeting since the season opener when the Bolts traveled to Philips Arena on Oct. 3. The two clubs meet again on Dec. 26, Jan. 23 and Mar. 6 at the St. Pete Times Forum and on Feb. 2 in Atlanta.
LIGHTNING – The Bolts look to wrap up their four-game road trip on a high note before returning home for a two-game stand with contests before and after Thanksgiving. Despite Saturday’s loss at Carolina, the Lightning’s confidence is still paying dividends, as the team has performed well on the road recently, going 3-1-2 in their last six away from the St. Pete Times Forum. As a result of the team’s recent success, the Bolts have picked up 11 points in their last eight games, going 4-1-3, and hope to extend that mark with a win tonight over the Thrashers.
THRASHERS – Thing have certainly turned around since this time last year. A big reason for the positive change is how the players have acclimated themselves to head coach John Anderson’s system. In addition, the off-season acquisitions of Maxim Afinogenov, Pavel Kubina, and Nik Antropov have provided solid depth on offense to support the efforts of team-leading scorers Ilya Kovalchuk and Rich Peverley.
- Steven Stamkos has recorded five points in as many games and Martin St. Louis has netted two goals in his last three.
- Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk has scored 11 points in his last five, while Maxim Afinogenov has tallied nine points in his last five as well.
Injury Report: LIGHTNING – Mattias Ohlund (lower body, day-to-day); THRASHERS – Kari Lehtonen (back, missed 19 games).
Quotable: “We have to clean up a lot of areas on the ice and different zones in order for this team to continue to win and continue to have success. You can get by for a little while, but sooner or later it's going to bite you. I don't think you can use that [the team’s tiredness] as an excuse when we are on the road, having the travel from the West Coast back home.” – Lightning goaltender Mike Smith.
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