The Tampa Bay Lightning (14-5-0) will play the first of four games on a West Coast swing and put their perfect 7-0 record against the Western Conference on the line against the Phoenix Coyotes (13-4-3).
The Lightning will be playing its third game since losing Steven Stamkos to a broken leg versus the Boston Bruins.
They have won both games defeating the Montreal Canadians 2-1 in a shootout in Montreal and winning 5-1 over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks at home.
After the victory over the Ducks on Thursday evening coach Jon Cooper said that part of the teams mantra was that “Nobody is filling 91’s shoes [Stamkos] – not one person can do it – nobody in the league can do it. But 20 guys can fill his shoes.”
As for Stamkos and his rehabilitation, according to Nick Kyperos of Sportsnet (via Twitter) “Stamkos now wearing removable cast enabling him to start an aggressive re-hab. Still no timetable set for his return.”
Prior to today’s game coach Cooper spoke about the adjustments that have to be made on the power play unit, the recent play and increased role of Victor Hedman, Andrej Sustr‘s despite having a “boy body” is not afraid to make a mistake, and the increased use of the Johnson line.