NHL Preview: Lightning vs. Panthers

The Lightning play the third contest of their season-high five game homestand tonight when they take on the Florida Panthers…The Lightning are a perfect 3-0-0 on home ice this season and are on a three-game winning streak…Tampa Bay currently ranks second in the Eastern Conference and fifth in the NHL with eight points…Tonight’s matchup between the Bolts and Panthers is the first of five meetings between the inter-state rivals…Last season the Lightning went 4-1-1 against the Panthers, including a mark of 2-1-0 at the Times Forum…Tampa Bay hasn’t allowed a power play goal against the Panthers in three straight games.

Martin St. Louis recorded a hat trick against the Panthers the last time the two clubs met on Feb. 4, 2012…St. Louis finished with four goals and four assists against Florida in six games last season….Steven Stamkos led all skaters with nine points (six goals, three assists) last season…Stamkos is on a five-game goal streak against the Panthers…Tampa Bay outshot Florida in four of six games last season…Anders Lindback recorded his first career NHL shutout against Florida on Dec. 11, 2010, his only appearance against the Panthers in his career.

The Lightning rank first in the NHL with 24 goals this season…13 of the Lightning’s 24 tallies have come in the third period, ranking first in the NHL…Tampa Bay is averaging 4.8 goals a game which ranks first in the league…Tampa Bay has notched four or more goals in a game in four of their first five games this season…The Bolts’ +11 goal differential ranks first in the Eastern Conference and tied for second in the NHL…12 different Bolts have registered at least a goal this season….Seven of the Lightning’s goals have come while on the man-advantage, ranking tied for third in the league in that category.

Cory Conacher had his four-game point streak snapped on Sunday against the Flyers. He became the first player in Lightning 20-year history to record points in each of his first three NHL games…Conacher ranks second in the NHL in rookie scoring with seven points (two goals, five assists)….He became just the sixth player in Lightning history to record his first career NHL goal in his NHL

Steven Stamkos enters tonight’s game registering points in all five games this season…Sami Salo ranks first in the NHL with a +9 rating and Victor Hedman’s +7 rating ranks fourth….The Lightning rank fourth in the NHL in faceoff wins with 185 and are fifth in faceoff win percentage (52.3%)…Nate Thompson ranks first on the club with a 58.6% faceoff winning percentage (min. of 10 faceoffs taken)…The Lightning and Senators scored three goals in 30 seconds in the second period on Jan. 25, a record for two teams in a Lightning game (previous record was 42 seconds set twice: vs. PIT in 1993 and vs. WSH in 1994)….Sami Salo tied the Lightning single game record with a +5 rating on Jan. 25 vs. OTT….The Lightning rank tied for fifth in the NHL in blocked shots with 86.

The Lightning’s power play has scored in four of the first five games this season….Martin St. Louis was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week for period ending Jan. 27…Sami Salo enters the game tonight on a three-game point streak (five assists), recording a +8 during that stretch…Tampa Bay has scored 15 goals over their past three games, while Florida has only scored three goals over their last four games…St. Louis recorded points in five of six games against the Panthers last season…Vincent Lecavalier registered seven hits on Jan. 27 vs. PHI for the first time in a single game since Nov. 16, 2008 vs. Carolina.

Source: Tampa Bay Lightning