Lightning vs. Sharks Preview
Wednesday, 02.15.2012 / 5:06 PM
This is the second and final meeting of the year between the two clubs. San Jose took the first matchup in its own home arena back on Dec. 21 by a score of 7-2 which was the Sharks’ sixth win in their past seven meetings with the Lightning dating back to the lockout.
The Big Story:
Even after Tuesday’s 4-0 loss to the Senators, the Lightning remain eight points back of the final playoff spot in the East and look to inch closer to earning a postseason berth by attempting to snap a two-game losing skid. San Jose, meanwhile, comes in seeking to open up some space in the Pacific Division, as it sits just three points up on the division-rival Kings and five ahead of the Coyotes.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay competes in the second contest of its current four-game home stand. With Winnipeg, Toronto and Buffalo all losing on Tuesday night, the Bolts had a prime opportunity to gain some ground in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Unfortunately, a solid effort in which the Lightning outshot their opponent and generated good scoring chances fell short in a 4-0 loss to the Senators. The defeat marked just the second time Tampa Bay had been held without a goal all season. Mathieu Garon
made 23 saves on the night, whereas Jason Spezza recorded his fourth career hat trick for Ottawa and Erik Karlsson also had a goal for the Senators, which won for just the second time in 10 games. The loss for Tampa Bay also signaled its first pair of back-to-back defeats in regulation since Jan. 13 and 15, respectively.
SHARKS – On what is being called “The Tennis Trip,” the Sharks make their third stop on their current nine-game road swing as their home arena back in San Jose hosts the SAP Open tennis tournament. So far on the trip, the Sharks have split the first pair of games, with the most recent resulting in a 5-3 win over the Capitals on Monday night. Joe Pavelski’s first of two goals on the night gave San Jose an early 1-0 lead and an additional pair of tallies by Patrick Marleau paced the Sharks to their 16th win in the past 17 games against Washington. Pavelski also had two assists to complete a four-point performance, while Joe Thornton chipped in with three helpers. The Sharks, who set out on the trip after converting seven of their final 14 power play opportunities at home, added to their success with the man advantage after going 3-for-6 in Monday’s win.
has come up empty in back-to-back games, but collected 10 points in a prior six-game point streak. Martin St. Louis
has also gone scoreless in three straight following a nine-game point streak that was capped off with a hat trick just over 10 days ago. For the Sharks, Joe Pavelski has recorded six points in his past four games, while Joe Thornton has registered four goals and 12 points in his previous seven outings.
LIGHTNING – Mattias Ohlund
(knee, placed on Injured Reserve), Dana Tyrell
(ACL, out for season) and Matt Gilroy
(upper body, day-to-day).
SHARKS – Jason Demers (lower body, placed on Injured Reserve) and Martin Havlat (hamstring).
“Falling down is not the sin. Falling down and not getting up, that’s the sin. So, we’re going to get up and move forward.” – Lightning head coach Guy Boucher on how his team is going to respond to a 4-0 loss versus Ottawa on Tuesday
Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle skated in 394 career games with the Lightning from 2001-2008 and ranks ninth on the team's all-time scoring list with 253 points. Boyle was traded to San Jose in a deal that brought Matt Carle and Ty Wishart to Tampa Bay. Carle was then sent to Philadelphia in exchange for current Lightning forward Steve Downie
, while Wishart was eventually dealt to the Islanders in exchange for current Bolts net minder Dwayne Roloson