The Lightning boarded the team bus yesterday in Philadelphia after staying over after Tuesday night’s loss to the Flyers and ended up in Newark, New Jersey at the Prudential Center. The team had a meeting before holding an optional skate. A number of players, including Marty St. Louis, hit the ice in preparation for tonight’s match-up with the Devils, winners of two in a row.
Guy Boucher didn’t reveal too much about his line-up for tonight this morning, just that Anders Lindback will get the start between the pipes. The big question is whether BJ Crombeen will play after his fight Tuesday against the Flyers. He was medically cleared to play after the first period but was held out as a precaution. That would be the same situation if he doesn’t play tonight. Boucher said he wanted to treat the situation as if Crombeen was his own son. Normally you can usually tell who is not playing by who comes off the ice last at morning skate. This morning that wasn’t the case. Marc-Andre Bergeron did come off early so I expect him to play. As for the rest of it, we’ll just have to wait and see.
The big talk around the locker room this morning was about the storm heading toward the northeast. Some forecasts have called for 33 inches of snow in Boston starting tomorrow afternoon. It just so happens that the Bolts will fly to Beantown after tonight’s game in Newark. So the Lightning will be sitting in Boston hoping for the best. They are scheduled to practice at TD Garden, but it will probably depend on the weather.
TV: Sun Sports
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Thing to Keep an Eye On: Close games. Last season the Lightning were the best team in the NHL for one-goal games, posting a 25-3-8 record. This season has been a different story with Tampa Bay going 0-3-0. The good news is all of the Bolts’ losses have been one-goal games so they’ve been in each of their losses. The Lightning need to find that tight game mojo they had last year.
On the Rise: The birthday boy. Hard to believe that Steven Stamkos turns just 23 today. He scored 186 goals prior to his 23rd birthday, the fourth-most in NHL history. The names in front of him? Only Wayne Gretzky, Dale Hawerchuk and Mario Lemieux. Not a bad list.
Kill Devil Hill: New Jersey has allowed just one goal in their previous two games. A big part of that is the Devils not allowing a power play goal in that time, three games overall. New Jersey has killed all 15 penalties they’ve faced in their previous three contests.