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
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
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
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
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
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
01/09 10:59:27 ET