NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, January 9th (All times Eastern)
Washington Capitals (20-16-6) at Tampa Bay Lightning (26-13-4), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Martin St. Louis didn't let being kept off the Canadian Olympic team affect his play in helping Tampa Bay earn a win in its most recent outing.
St. Louis will try to spur the Lightning to their fourth victory in five games when they host the struggling Washington Capitals in Thursday's test at Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The 38-year-old St. Louis wasn't among those picked to represent Team Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics when the Canadian side was announced on Tuesday, even though Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman was the man in charge of choosing the team. The classy veteran shrugged off the snub, however, scoring two goals in the third period later that night to lead the Bolts to a 4-2 road win over the Winnipeg Jets.
"I'm happy we got the win," St. Louis said. "In regards to Team Canada you obviously know how I feel, I'm disappointed and I'll just leave it at that."
Although St. Louis was not selected, Yzerman, the executive director of Team Canada, did tab his Lightning teammate Steven Stamkos to go to Sochi. Stamkos, of course, is still sidelined following surgery to repair a broken right tibia, but he is expected to be ready to play when the Winter Games begin next month.
Ondrej Palat and Valtteri Filppula also lit the lamp on Tuesday, while Teddy Purcell and Alex Killorn both had two assists. Anders Lindback made 12 saves in the win as Tampa wrapped a four-game road trip with a 3-1-0 record.
"This is a tough place to play on the road, and I thought we just played an outstanding road game," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper.
With regular No. 1 goaltender Ben Bishop expected to miss a second straight game with an upper-body injury, Lindback is likely to get another start on Thursday.
The Lightning are home for one game before heading back out on the road for a three-game swing. The Bolts, who are 14-4-2 at home and 12-9-2 as the guest, will begin their road trip Saturday in Philadelphia.
The Capitals are capping a two-game swing tonight, but they haven't played since dropping the opener of the jaunt Saturday in Minnesota. The loss to the Wild was the fourth straight for Washington and its sixth setback in seven games.
Ryan Suter notched the first hat trick of his career and first-ever for a Minnesota defenseman to lift the Wild to the 5-3 win Saturday at Xcel Energy Center.
Mike Green scored twice in the loss while Marcus Johansson also lit the lamp for the Capitals, who tied their longest losing streak of the season. Braden Holtby allowed all five goals on just 11 shots as Washington fell to 0-2-2 during its slide.
"We played a good hockey team and shut them down," said Washington forward Brooks Laich. "They only got 11 shots on net and it's confusing what happened. That's not going to happen very often."
Washington also lost four in a row (0-3-1) from Nov. 20-27, but the club hasn't dropped five straight since an 0-6-2 stretch from Dec. 2-18, 2010.
The Capitals won the first meeting of the season with the Lightning, posting a 6-5 home shootout decision on Dec. 10. Washington has won four in a row in this series, including a 6-5 home overtime win in the final meeting between the clubs last season.
Tampa had won four straight home games against the Capitals until Washington snapped that streak with a 4-3 regulation win at the Forum on Feb. 14 of last season.
01/09 10:59:27 ET