The Lightning got back into Tampa yesterday afternoon after one of their longest road trips of the season. It certainly did not go the way they wanted it to go, dropping all three games to Toronto, Ottawa and Winnipeg. The team had their best showing on Sunday night against the Jets, but fell just short 3-2.
The good news for the club is they return back to the friendly confines of the Tampa Bay Times Forum tonight where they have won two straight games. The Bolts will look to win their third straight home game against a Buffalo Sabres team that has won three consecutive games.
The past 48 hours have been quite busy for the team, as they relieved Guy Boucher of his coaching duties and last night announced the Jon Cooper would be taking over beginning on Friday night. Cooper has done an excellent job for the Lightning organization as assistant coach of its top minor league affiliates.
All the players currently with the Lightning that have played for Cooper absolutely rave about him as a person. I’m sure Lightning fans and the Tampa Bay community will soon learn how great of a man Mr. Cooper is.
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What to watch for – Mathieu Garon is getting the nod tonight in net for the Bolts. Garon has posted solid numbers over his past four games against Sabres, going 3-1-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average and .944 save percentage, including a shutout.
Milestones – Marty St. Louis moved into a tie with Peter Bondra for 100th place on NHL all-time points list with 892 points on Sunday night. A single point tonight and Marty will be in sole possession of that milestone. Next closest current player on the all-time points list is Patrik Elias in 92nd place with 923 points.