|TBL||0||2||1||(0 - 0)||3|
|MTL||2||2||1||(0 - 0)||5|
Last 10: Tampa Bay (5-5-0); Montreal (6-4-0)
Season Series: Tonight’s matchup between the Bolts and Habs is the fourth and final meeting of the season. Tampa Bay has earned points in all three meetings this year, including two wins on Nov. 7 and Jan. 27. Montreal’s only win against the Lightning came on Dec. 30 in a 2-1 overtime decision at the St. Pete Times Forum.
|Jan 27, 2010||MTL@TBL||TBL, 3 - 0|
|Dec 30, 2009||MTL@TBL||MTL, 2 - 1|
|Nov 7, 2009||TBL@MTL||TBL, 3 - 1|
The Big Story: Steven Stamkos holds sole possession of the NHL’s longest active point streak at 16 games after Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin was held scoreless on Saturday against Dallas. Stamkos extended the mark with a power play goal in the first period in Tampa Bay’s 6-2 victory over the Thrashers, which also tied him for the Lightning franchise record for most goals with the man advantage in a single season. Tampa Bay and Montreal come into the contest just five points apart in the playoff picture, with tonight’s outcome capable of moving the Lightning closer to the final post-season spot, while also putting Montreal at risk of dropping out of the race with 15 games remaining on the schedule.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay hits the road tonight for the first of a three-game road swing, which includes a back-to-back set of games on Thursday and Friday. The Lightning snapped a five-game skid on Saturday in front of the home crowd with a 6-2 win over the Southeast Division rival Atlanta Thrashers. Stamkos scored twice in the contest, Martin St. Louis recorded a three-point night for the second consecutive game and Steve Downie prolonged his career-high point streak to 10 games with an assist. The Bolts’ newest acquisition, 24-year-old forward Teddy Purcell who was received in the Jeff Halpern deal, has made an immediate impact for the team. On Saturday, he scored his first goal as a member of the Lightning on a penalty shot, which capped his third point in two games since joining the Lightning.
CANADIENS – Montreal kicks off a three-game home stand tonight at the Bell Centre against the Lightning. The Habs come in as winners of two straight, after nearly sweeping a three-game road swing on the West Coast. The club picked up two points that propelled them into the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture with a 4-3 shootout win at Anaheim on Sunday. The Canadiens were down 3-1 in the final minute of regulation when Brian Gionta and Andrei Markov each scored to force the game into overtime before Tomas Plekanec won the game in the shootout.
Who’s Hot: Steven Stamkos has amassed 29 points over his league-high 16-game point streak and Steve Downie is not far behind, coming in with a 10-game streak in which he has totaled five goals and eight assists. Martin St. Louis also has tallied seven points in his last three games, including six helpers.
Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez each enter tonight with five points in their last three contests, while Andrei Markov comes in with three points in as many games. Benoit Pouliot also has three points in his last two for Montreal.
Injury Report: LIGHTNING – David Hale (lower body, placed on Injured Reserve). CANADIENS – Mike Cammalleri (knee) and Marc-Andre Bergeron (knee).
Quotable: “He’s a special player. I talked to Mario [Lemieux] earlier and he even came up to me and said ‘This kid can play.’ Mario is probably one of the best players ever to play the game, so for him to say that, that’s saying something.” – Lightning head coach Rick Tocchet commenting on second-year superstar Steven Stamkos
|M. St. Louis||65||24||55||79||+2||12||7||6|