Lightning vs. Kings Preview
Monday, 02.06.2012 / 9:35 AM
This is the only meeting between the two teams this season. The Lightning and cross-conference rival Kings last faced off on Nov. 4 of last season when Los Angeles earned a 1-0 victory on Justin Williams’ third-period goal at the Staples Center. Jonathan Quick stopped 24 shots for the shutout despite a hard-fought Tampa Bay effort.
The Big Story:
The wins just keep on rolling in for Tampa Bay. On Saturday, the Lightning won for the sixth time in their past seven games and earned at least a point in the standings for a seventh consecutive time. They wrap up a four-game home stand and look to maintain the recent success against Los Angeles, which has lost two straight and is clinging to a slim margin as the seventh seed in the Western Conference playoff hunt.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay plays in the final contest of a four-game home stand versus the Kings before hitting the road for three straight beginning Thursday in New York City. The Bolts enjoyed their largest offensive outburst of the season in their most recent game, a 6-3 win over the division-rival Panthers that was punctuated by Martin St. Louis
’ hat trick in his 900th career game. Vincent Lecavalier
reached the 20-goal plateau for the 12th consecutive season and added three assists, Steven Stamkos
notched his league-leading 34th goal of the year, and Nate Thompson
also had a goal for the Lightning, which have not lost in regulation since Jan. 15. Mathieu Garon
also added 17 saves as Tampa Bay extended its streak to earning points in consecutive games to seven.
KINGS – Los Angeles competes in the rubber match of its six-game road swing. Being away from home has not been friendly to the Kings, who have dropped each of the first two contests on the trip as they enter into the Tampa Bay Times Forum for the first and only time this season. This past Friday, Los Angeles kicked off the sequence by falling 1-0 to the St. Louis Blues in the first half of a back-to-back set, which continued the very next night with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes. It looks to rebound Tuesday against the Lightning and get back on the winning track, but in order to do so, will have to rediscover its dormant scoring prowess. Only one of the team’s top four scorers has registered a point on the trip, while the other three have been held off the score sheet in consecutive games.
Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis
is riding a season-high nine-game point streak with six goals and 16 points over that span, including his fifth career hat trick in the team’s most recent game on Saturday. The NHL’s leading goal scorer in Steven Stamkos
also has points in three straight with two game-winning goals over that stretch. For the Kings, Jack Johnson has at least a point in all but one of his past four games, while Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams each come in with points in two of their past three outings.
LIGHTNING – Mattias Ohlund
(knee, placed on Injured Reserve), Dana Tyrell
(ACL, out for season, placed on Injured Reserve), Adam Hall
(forearm, placed on Injured Reserve), Ryan Malone
(upper body, day-to-day) and Marc-Andre Bergeron
(upper body, day-to-day).
KINGS – Simon Gagne (concussion, out indefinitely, placed on Injured Reserve).
“We've got this path in front of us and it's very narrow, so we want to stick to what we do. It had to do with us knowing we are playing the right way, and if we do that consistently, we're going to have success.” – Lightning head coach Guy Boucher