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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_Lightning2013 [1]Ben 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 [2]  of the Boston Bruins with four shutouts and is second in save percentage (.936). His 22 wins are tied for second with Antti Niemi [3] 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 [4]) defensemen Sami Salo [5] will return to the lineup tonight.

According to Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter) Mark Barberio [6], B.J. Crombeen [7], and Tom Pyatt [8] will be scratches tonight.

The Bolts rookies will once again look to impact the game. Tyler Johnson [9] (22 points), Ondrej Palat [10] (18 points),  Richard Panik [11] (11 points), Radko Gudas [12] (10 points), and J.T. Brown [13] (8 points) all rank in the top 4o in rookie scoring.

Just outside the top 40 are Nikita Kucherov [14] 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 [6] 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.