Game Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning Versus Edmonton Oilers

The Tampa Bay Lightning Try For Sixth In A Row On Road Against Edmonton Oilers

The Tampa Bay Lightning (25-12-4) will look for their sixth consecutive road victory against the Edmonton Oilers (13-26-5) tonight at 8 p.m.

Ben_Bishop_Lightning2013Ben Bishop was first off the ice during the morning skate and is expected to get the start in goal.

He currently boasts a 10-game unbeaten streak posting a record of 8-0-2. He begins the second half of the 2013-2014 season tied for first with Tuukka Rask  of the Boston Bruins with four shutouts and is second in save percentage (.936). His 22 wins are tied for second with Antti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks and he ranks third in the league in goals-against average (1.83).

The Oilers are playing their first home game of 2014 after a three game road trip through Phoenix, San Jose, and Anaheim. They earned a point against the Coyotes but suffered back-to-back losses to the Sharks and Ducks.

Both teams played on the road of Friday with the Bolts defeating the Calgary Flames 2-0 and the Oilers dropped their contest to the Ducks 5-2.

The Lightning defeated the Oilers at the Tampa Bay Times Forum by a final score of 4-2 on November 7, 2013.  Ben Bishop was in goal that night and stopped 38 of 40 shots.

Tonight’s contest with the Oilers will be the third game on a four game Western Canada swing in which the Lightning have already won the first two games with victories over the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames. It is one of 10-road games for the Lightning in January.

According to Eric Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune (Twitter) defensemen Sami Salo will return to the lineup tonight.

According to Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter) Mark Barberio, B.J. Crombeen, and Tom Pyatt will be scratches tonight.

The Bolts rookies will once again look to impact the game. Tyler Johnson (22 points), Ondrej Palat (18 points),  Richard Panik (11 points), Radko Gudas (10 points), and J.T. Brown (8 points) all rank in the top 4o in rookie scoring.

Just outside the top 40 are Nikita Kucherov and Andrej Suster with 7 points apiece. Kucherov has posted goals in back-to-back games.

Gudas also leads all rookies in hits with 140 and penalty minutes with 86.  Mark Barberio ranks second among rookie defensemen in the NHL with a +11 rating and has collected assists in back-to-back games.

On the other end of the spectrum is the ageless wonder Marty St. Louis who has 38 points on the season and has a 950 points in his career and trails Rich Tocchet by two points for 89th on the All-Time NHL Points List.

The Bolts will travel to Winnipeg to take on the Jets Tuesday evening at 8:00 p.m. before heading home for a 1-game home stand against the Washington Capitals Thurday at 7:30 p.m.

 

 

 

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