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Lightning (6-2-1) at Coyotes (3-3-3)
Season Series: Tonight’s game at the Jobing.com Arena is the first of two meetings on the season. The two clubs have split wins and losses throughout the all-time series, gaining 13 wins apiece. The teams will meet for the final team of the season on Feb. 23 in Tampa Bay.
The Big Story: Tampa Bay has won four the last five on the road against the Coyotes and seven of the last nine overall in the series between the two clubs. The Lightning come in with a 3-1-0 record away from home this season, tied for the Eastern Conference's 2nd-best road record and Steven Stamkos enters the contest with an NHL-leading 18 points. Martin St. Louis also will appear in his 400th consecutive game tonight, good for the league’s fourth-longest active streak.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay plays its first of four games tonight on its second road trip of the season. The Bolts enter tonight's contest as winners in two of their last three and have gained points in all but two games this season. The Lightning are coming off a thrilling 5-3 victory against Pittsburgh on Wednesday, in which the team rallied from a two-goal deficit to earn a hard-fought win. Martin St. Louis had two goals including the game-winner and Vincent Lecavalier and Teddy Purcell also scored. Dana Tyrell notched his first career NHL goal and Dan Ellis was spectacular in relief of Mike Smith, as he gave his chance to complete the comeback and gain two points.
COYOTES – Phoenix returns to its home arena tonight to play for the first time since returning from a three-game road trip on which it went 1-1-1. The Coyotes have gained points in four of the last five, including two in a 4-2 win at Detroit on Thursday. Lauri Korpikoski had two goals and Keith Yandle as well as Radim Vrbata also scored. Phoenix will try to gain two points tonight to boost their home record, which is currently one of the worst in the Western Conference at 1-1-2.
Who’s Hot: Martin St. Louis comes in with a two-game goal streak and a five-game point streak, and Steven Stamkos has registered four goals and eight assists in his last five games. Defenseman Pavel Kubina also has three assists in his last two contests. The Coyotes both look to Keith Yandle and Ray Whitney, who each have two points in as many games.
Quotable: “Try to contain every puck. You don't want to give up rebounds. You don't want to give up a soft one right away. You want to keep that puck out for as long as possible to give your team a chance to get their legs underneath them.” – Goaltender Dan Ellis, on why he was so successful in the team’s 5-3 win against Pittsburgh on Wednesday
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