|TOR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||0|
|TBL||2||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
Lightning (30-15-5, 65 Points) vs. Maple Leafs (19-24-5, 43 Points)
Last 10: Tampa Bay (6-4-0); Toronto (5-4-1)
Season Series: Tonight’s game between the Lightning and Maple Leafs marks the third of four meetings this season. The two clubs will wrap up the season set in the finale Mar. 14 north of the border. Tampa Bay has taken both meetings thus far this season, earning a 4-0 shutout at home Nov. 9 and an additional overtime victory in Toronto Nov. 30.
The Big Story: Tampa Bay kicked off a 12-game record-tying home stand on the right foot Sunday afternoon, extending the team’s winning streak to four straight games following a 7-1 drubbing of the Thrashers at home, where it posts the NHL’s best record of 15-4-2. With 65 points atop the Southeast Division, the Lightning could gain substantial ground in the standings if the team can continue the winning trend at home, where it will play each of the next 11 games through Feb. 25. They will, however, have to endure a week off due to All-Star festivities before returning to the ice Feb. 1 against Philadelphia.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay passed its first test in its 12-game home stand and will play the second contest of the stretch tonight. The Lightning have won four in a row and earned a statement win in the team’s last game Sunday versus Atlanta. Six different players had goals for Tampa Bay, including two from Simon Gagne and additional tallies from Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, Nate Thompson and Dana Tyrell. Combined, the Bolts set a season-high record with five goals in the second period and were backstopped by a 21-save effort from Dwayne Roloson, who earned his third straight victory.
MAPLE LEAFS – Toronto visits Tampa Bay in the second of two games on a brief road trip, which also concludes a back-to-back series tonight for the Maple Leafs. Toronto will then return home to play two straight following the All-Star break. The Leafs kicked off the two-game road set last night in Carolina, although the result was unfavorable. The Hurricanes scored four goals in the final period to pull away with a 6-4 victory. Tim Brent scored two third-period goals for the Maple Leafs, who got within 5-4 on Mike Brown’s power-play goal with 5:45 to go. But Erik Cole's empty-netter in the final minute sealed the victory for the Hurricanes.
Who’s Hot: Steven Stamkos is leading the Lightning with seven goals and 10 points during a six-game point streak, while Steve Downie comes in with three points in as many games. Simon Gagne has five goals in his last seven and Martin St. Louis also has an assist in each of the last two games. The Maple Leafs’ Tim Brent has three goals in his last two games and also had an assist last night in Carolina.
Injury Report: LIGHTNING – Ryan Malone (lower body, day-to-day). MAPLE LEAFS – Colton Orr (concussion) and John Mitchell (knee).
Notable Quotable: “I think we had great work ethic from the start. What I liked, though, was with all the offense we had, we were always four or five guys back (on defense) all game and we didn't give anything on the rush, and when you stick to that, you eventually find holes in the opponent.” – Guy Boucher, on the key to winning Sunday’s game against Atlanta which extended the Bolts winning streak to four games.
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