NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, January 29th
(All times Eastern)
Florida Panthers (1-4-0) at Tampa Bay Lightning (4-1-0), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning try to keep their perfect home
record intact on Tuesday night as they play host to the struggling Florida
The Lightning and Panthers are headed in opposite directions and are coming
off vastly different results against the same opponent over the weekend. Tampa
Bay notched a 5-1 win over Philadelphia on Sunday, one day after the Flyers
pounded the hosting Panthers by a 7-1 margin.
Anders Lindback yielded a goal 59 seconds in for the Bolts, but was perfect
the rest of the way and ended with 24 saves. He was backed by power-play goals
from Teddy Purcell and Vincent Lecavalier, while Steven Stamkos, Eric Brewer
and Victor Hedman all added goals.
"It was huge," Lecavalier said. "Guys are doing a great job and overall we
played a 60-minute game. We've been playing some good hockey, but tonight was
Martin St. Louis extended his hot start by notching four assists, giving him
eight helpers and 11 points through the first five games. That has helped
Tampa Bay win each of its first three home games, including the initial two on
a current five-game residency.
The Lightning have outscored their opponents 15-6 over a three-game winning
streak overall and have also seen Stamkos log three goals and 10 points over
the first five games.
The Panthers, meanwhile, haven't had much success -- or many goals -- since
opening the season with a win over the visiting Carolina Hurricanes as they
have since been outscored 18-3 over a four-game slide.
Jose Theodore lasted just 20 minutes in Saturday's defeat, allowing three
goals on nine shots. Scott Clemmensen didn't fare any better over the final
two frames as he was beaten four times on 17 shots.
It is unknown who will start this game.
Peter Mueller scored Florida's lone goal on a breakaway late in the second
period to make it a 4-1 game, but the Flyers came right back with a goal 37
Florida head coach Kevin Dineen was blunt in his assessment of the game.
"We got our tails handed to us in every way," he said before eventually
cutting his postgame conference short.
While Dineen refused to blame injuries on his team's current troubles, the
Panthers did play on Saturday without Kris Versteeg, Stephen Weiss, Sean
Bergenheim and Marcel Goc.
Versteeg, though, could make his season debut in this game after sitting out
the first five games due to a lower body injury. The winger was second on
Florida last season with 23 goals.
The Panthers won their first two versus the Lightning last season before
dropping the final four encounters and have lost three of their past four in
01/29 10:50:56 ET