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Tampa Bay Lightning
Carolina
Hurricanes
33-33-16
Tampa Bay
Lightning
38-36-8

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game preview

Lightning, Hurricanes chase critical two points

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

Peter Pupello - Lightning Beat Reporter

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Lightning, Hurricanes chase critical two points
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

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Game Notes

  • Lightning (17-20-4, 38 Points) vs. Hurricanes (14-23-7, 35 Points)
  • Last 10: Tampa Bay (4-4-2); Carolina (4-5-1)
  • Carolina's four road victories are the fewest in the East
  • Stamkos’ 27 points recorded at the Tampa Bay Times Forum this season also rank third among all NHL skaters
  • Stamkos has scored 13 goals over the last 12 games and remains the NHL leader with 29 goals for the season
  • Carolina's Brandon Sutter enters the matchup ranked tied for second in the NHL with 3 shorthanded goals
  • Martin St. Louis is the leader among active players with 75 career points against Carolina
  • Vincent Lecavalier is tied with Jaromir Jagr for second place among active players with 74 career points against Carolina
  • Lecavalier has 31 career goals against Carolina, which is tied for his most against any NHL team
  • Marc-Andre Bergeron (20 assists) is one assist shy of his career-high for assists in a season, set in 2009-10 while with Montreal
  • Eric Brewer scored his first NHL goal, against Carolina on Nov. 5, 1998

SEASON SERIES:

This is the fourth of six total meetings on the year between the Southeast Division rivals. The Lightning have won two of the first three, including a 5-2 victory in the most recent contest at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on New Year's Eve as well as the season-opener back on Oct. 7 in Raleigh. Carolina’s lone victory on the year against the Bolts came on Nov. 1 by a 4-2 score.

THE BIG STORY:

Two clubs struggling to climb their way back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture are in desperate need of victories. The Lightning, only three points better than Carolina at 13th in the East, look to snap a four-game losing streak, while the Hurricanes have lost four of their past five and are currently 15th in the conference with their four road victories coming in as the fewest in the East.

TEAM SCOPE:

LIGHTNING – The Bolts wrap up a two-game home stand against the Hurricanes before departing for the nation’s capital to take on Washington in the second half of a back-to-back set on Friday night. Tampa Bay dropped a 5-4 contest in the shootout Tuesday night against Vancouver in the team’s first home game since returning from a three-game stretch through Canada. Steven Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier scored goals to help the Bolts climb back from a two-goal deficit, and Steve Downie and Ryan Malone had an additional pair of tallies 12:45 apart to tie the game at four and send the match into overtime. After an extra period of scoreless action, Vancouver’s Mason Raymond scored the lone goal in the shootout and Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider stopped all three Bolts shooters he faced to hand the Lightning a fourth straight loss and just the first at home since Dec. 12.

HURRICANES – Carolina travels to Tampa Bay for a brief one-game stint with the Lightning before returning home to take on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Bruins on Saturday. The Hurricanes come in with just one win in their last five games after falling for a second straight time Tuesday against Philadelphia. Carolina took a 1-1 tie into the final period, but it didn’t last long, as Flyers rookie Sean Couturier notched what stood as the game-winning goal just three minutes into the third. Jerome Samson scored his first career NHL goal in his debut to erase a one-goal deficit for the Hurricanes, and Cam Ward stopped 35 shots, but in his 16th loss of the season.

WHO'S HOT:

Steven Stamkos scored in the team’s last game and now leads the NHL with 29 goals. He has lit the lamp 13 times in his past 12 games for the Bolts. Vincent Lecavalier also has scored a goal in three of his past four games. For Carolina, captain Eric Staal has three goals and 10 points over his past six games.

INJURY REPORT:

LIGHTNING – Mattias Ohlund (knee, placed on Injured Reserve), Ryan Shannon (lower body, out 2-4 weeks), Adam Hall (upper body, out eight weeks), Victor Hedman (concussion, out indefinitely) and JT Wyman (upper body, day-to-day).

HURRICANES – Joni Pitkanen (knee/concussion), Brian Boucher (groin), Chad LaRose (upper body) and Jeff Skinner (concussion).

NOTABLE QUOTABLE:

“We have to stay positive. Like everything else this year, everything comes extremely hard and we have to fight for everything we hope to get. We’ve got to take the positive out of this one.” – Lightning head coach Guy Boucher, on is team’s mindset following Tuesday’s 5-4 loss in the shootout

CONNECTIONS:

The Hurricanes' Jussi Jokinen had eight goals and 22 assists in 66 games with Tampa Bay during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons.

2011-2012 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 10 '12 CAR 4 at TBL 2 J. Skinner
Mar 03 '12 TBL 4 at CAR 3 - OT S. Stamkos
Jan 12 '12 CAR 5 at TBL 2 J. Harrison
Dec 31 '11 CAR 2 at TBL 5 S. Stamkos
Nov 01 '11 TBL 2 at CAR 4 J. Skinner
Oct 07 '11 TBL 5 at CAR 1 V. Lecavalier
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
E. Staal45102333-212442
T. Ruutu45151126+23621
J. Skinner30121224-61833
J. Jokinen4241923-33010
C. LaRose43111021-173223
B. Sutter4510818-41020
J. Tlusty459817-31401
J. Harrison3561117-73221
J. McBain3931417-6220
A. Ponikarovsky457714-122440
T. Brent425712-21601
J. Pitkanen213912-10811
T. Gleason4511112+23900
A. Stewart416410+32301
J. Faulk293710-111820
T. Kaberle29099-12200
P. Dwyer40448-11000
J. Spacek27167+2411
B. Allen45066-14800
A. Nodl31235+0400
D. Bowman13235-3000
B. Sutter12033-11100
D. Joslin14112-71500
Z. Dalpe13112-4400
Z. Boychuk13022-1000
J. Samson2101-1010
R. Nash2011+1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Ward3815-16-611411523.12.901
B. Boucher70-4-1201783.27.888
J. Peters20-2-09884.58.898
M. Murphy20-1-0090.001.000
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
S. Stamkos42291948+53455
M. St. Louis37102333-21210
V. Lecavalier42161430-32845
M. Bergeron4242024+82010
T. Purcell4181422+21630
R. Malone3681422-23521
S. Downie3971017-1810220
D. Moore4231114-84200
E. Brewer4211112-82900
M. Gilroy3601111+01000
P. Kubina383710+13901
B. Connolly31448+01212
B. Clark42268-161200
N. Thompson36437-101900
R. Shannon25257-7800
V. Hedman32246-122800
T. Pyatt37325-7401
B. Gervais21325+0400
D. Tyrell22055-3600
B. Jones22224-31000
A. Hall37123-11300
J. Wyman6123+3000
M. Ritola5000-2600
B. Mikkelson2000+0000
P. Labrie1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Garon2911-12-2707012.94.900
D. Roloson226-9-2695823.71.881