The Bolts broke a 12 game winless streak dating back to last season on Saturday night, defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2. Ryan "Bugsy" Malone had a hat-trick and Antero Niittymaki improved his record versus the Southeast division to 28-6-4 all time.
He'll have another chance to add a notch to his belt versus Southeast tonight versus the Panthers. The Panthers have lost their last three and are looking for a spark to just about everything - which is what usually happens when they face off against the Lightning.
The Bolts have a 19% conversion rate on the power play but have the 5th worst PK percentage in the NHL (66.7%). On the other side of the fray, the Panthers have allowed 4.25 goals per game on average over their first four games, have a 70.6% penalty kill. Their power play, however, is an atrocious 6 percent this season so far -- by far the worst in the league. The Panthers have also averaged over 23 shots a night while giving up 40 shots. The Bolts, on the other hand, are 2nd in the league with 38 SOG a night, while giving up 29 shots-against on average (14th in NHL).
The Malone-Stamkos-St. Louis line has a combined 15 points on the season... six players on the Bolts roster have a negative plus-minus (-2 for Paul Ranger and Stephane Veilleux are the worst on the team) whiel the Panthers have 13 players iwth a negative plus-minus, led by Bryan Allan's team-high -6. This is the first of eight matchups between the teams this season.
More on the Panther's situation here on SB Nation at Litter Box Cats
Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lines
(updated October 12, 2009 by RawCharge subject to change)
Goaltender(s)Antero Niittymaki (starter)