The Carolina Hurricanes, (21-16-6) will try to shrug off their loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night as they attempt to start another winning streak tonight against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning, (26-14-5).
The Lightning are coming off a loss of their own as they were dumped by the New Jersey Devils, 5-2 just last night. That makes the second time in their last three games that the Devils beat up on the Lightning as the Bolts also lost, 6-3 to Jersey on Sunday.
But Tampa Bay did shutout the Washington Capitals on Wednesday, 3-0, to take sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division. They are 6-4 in their last 10 games.
The Hurricanes have earned points in eight of their last nine games and have a 6-2-2 record in their last 10.
Remarkably enough, the Bolts have a -9 differential in goals for, (133) versus goals against, (142) even though they are in second place in the conference. The Canes on the otherhand are -2, (129 to 131).
Of course, the Lightning are led by Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis, who are having unbelievable seasons.
|2010 - Steven Stamkos||45||32||27||59||9||34||14||0||6||166|
|2010 - Martin St. Louis||45||19||36||55||3||8||2||0||5||150|
Both Dan Ellis and newly acquired goalie, Dwayne Roloson played last night, so I'm
not sure which goalie will get the nod tonight. Roloson pitched the shutout against the Caps, but looked shaky against the Devils.
UPDATE- Roloson will get the start.
John, Cassie, and company will have more Lightning coverage at Raw Charge.
Cam Ward will be in net for the Canes.
Jiri Tlusty has finally been cleared to play but will sit out again tonight. Jussi Jokinen will start on the first line, but Paul Maurice said that the lines could be mixed, depending upon matchups.
- Staal, Jokinen, Cole
- Ruutu, Skinner, LaRose
- Sutter, Dwyer, Boychuk
- Carter, Bodie, Samsonov
- Gleason, Corvo
- Pitkanen, McBain
- White, Harrison
Hockeymom's game day guide has been updated and can be printed out for use at the arena.
This is another big game for both teams. The Hurricanes should have a bit of an advantage because the Lightning played and traveled last night, but this still should be a wild game as team defense is not a forte of either club.
Eric Staal has points, (3G 4A) in seven straight games. Tuomo Ruutu, (3G 4A) and Jeff Skinner, (4G 2A) have points in four straight.
The Canes dropped their first and only matchup so far this season against the Lightning, 5-1 on December 20.
Last season, both teams went 3-2-1 against each other, although over the last 17 games, the Hurricanes are 12-4-1 against Tampa.
The puck drops at 7 p.m. and this one will be televised locally by FS Carolinas.