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Lightning Strikes

So far this season, Lightning has only struck at home for Tampa Bay. The Bolts have a great 6-1-1 record at home, but have yet to win a single game on the road where their record is 0-7-0. Apparently, they played pretty well at home again last night and beat the Panthers 3-1. But the Hurricanes catch another break as once again they play a team on the tail end of a back to back situation while they are off at home. Don't under estimate Tampa Bay though, they have always played the Canes tough.

Johan Holmqvist was in goal last night, so your guess is as good as mine if "Torts" will play him again tonight or not. Maybe the much maligned Marc Denis will see some action. Tampa fans are reeling over the news about Dan Boyle. Remember that freaky accident where Boyle had a skate fall on his wrist and it got cut very badly? It seems that he re-injured the wrist and will be out long-term. Tough break!

The Canes are still flying high after their 5-0 win over Washington on Monday night. Of course they are still 1st in the division and remain 2nd in the conference. They lead the entire league in scoring with 58 goals! What a remarkable turn-around for a franchise that not only scored the fewest goals in the NHL during the 2002-03 season, (171), but also set an NHL record for fewest goals ever scored in a season since the re-allignment! The next season, 2003-04 wasn't much better as again they had the fewest goals in the NHL, (172). This recent accomplishment is sweet for Caniacs who had to sit and watch through those somewhat uneventful years.

Rod Brind'Amour leads the league with 15 assists and is 5th in total points with 21. Of course several of his team-mates are among the league leaders as well. Bret Hedican is tied with Nicklas Lidstrom for 2nd in the league with a plus/minus of +11! I must admit, as Wuf over at Carolina on Ice pointed out, HediCAN has looked good so far this year. Maybe I was wrong about his durability? *knocks on wood*  As Luke DeCock points out on LSB, several other Canes are near the top of the NHL stats sheets. John Forslund is reporting on his blog that he expects Tanabe to play again tonight, in the familiar 7 defenseman scheme for Peter Laviolette. I wonder if he will play a few shifts as forward again? Keith Aucoin will be the odd man out. Cam Ward will be back in net. Also just reported by Luke, Tripp Tracy will be between the benches tonight for FSN network. That's always fun!  Hopefully, I can post an update if needed after lunch.