The Lightning landed yesterday afternoon in a bit of a snowstorm in Toronto. Although it wasn’t too cold when everyone got off the plane, the snowflakes were flying and it looked like a snow-globe. Tonight’s game will kick off a three-game Canadian road swing during which the Lightning will look to keep their momentum going. The Bolts have won three of their previous four games and play a Maple Leafs team which has struggled of late, dropping five straight.
The Lightning have been quite successful in Toronto lately, going 5-1-3 at the Air Canada Centre during their previous nine trips. I think everyone remembers the end of last season when Steven Stamkos netted his 59th goal in Toronto in the season’s second last game. Looking back at it now, it was clearly pivotal for him to reach the mark of 60 in Winnipeg the next and final game.
Cory Conacher mentioned to the media that he is pretty excited to play in front of his family and friends tonight. It will be the first time that the rookie plays in Toronto. He is a native of Burlington, Ontario which is a short 25-minute drive down the highway from the Air Canada Centre.
On the injury front, Ryan Malone did not make the trip to Canada. Malone suffered a left shoulder injury on Monday night when Zack Rinaldo hit him during the third period. He is expected to be out of the line-up for an extended period. Victor Hedman took the morning skate and said he is going to give it a try in warm-ups and see how he feels. Hedman’s importance to the line-up cannot be over-stated considering how much ice time he logs.
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We’re going streaking! – Teddy Purcell and Ondrej Palat have both tallied goals in back-to-back games for the Lightning. After slowing down production wise a few weeks ago, Purcell has returned to form over the past few games.
Mind the Net – Both goaltenders right now for the Lightning have been rock solid. Anders Lindback hasn’t allowed more than two goals in a game in each of his past six starts. When Mathieu Garon has been called upon the past few weeks, he’s given the Bolts a chance to win.