WHERE: St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
WHEN: 7:30 PM EST
MEDIA: Sun Sports (Cable), 620 WDAE (radio)
After Thursday night's dramatic, come-from-behind, did-they-deserve-that(?) victory over the Minnesota Wild, the Bolts seek to extend their winning ways at home (5-0-3 at Times Palace this season) against the Los Angeles Kings.
That, and Martin St. Louis looks to end his 11 game goal-scoring drought. After notching two goals on opening night in Atlanta and a tally versus the Panthers nine days later, St. Louis has zero goals and nine assists over the next 11 games.
The Kings are playing the second of a back-to-back set and will be out to redeem themselves after being outright slaughtered 7-0 in Atlanta last night. The Kings (like the Lightning, Thrashers, New York Islanders and Colorado Avalanche) have rebounded spectacularly in general after a poor 2008-09 campaign that netted them a top draft pick. Of course it's early in the NHl season still but 24 points in 20 games is not too shabby.
The Kings have a 21.9 power play percentage (12th) and a 74.0 penalty kill percentage (29th)... Of course the Bolts are struggling in both categories, converting on only 18.1% of power play opportunities (19th) and killing off 76.8% of penalties (26th). The Lightnign are also allowing 32 shots on goal nightly while taking 27.7 shots on average. The Kings, on the other hand, are taking 28 shots on goal and allowing a meager 26.
The King salso boast the league points leader in cnter Anze Kopitar. Kopitar has 30 points in 20 games (14 goals -- tied for the league lead, 16 assists) and Ryan Smyth is second on the team with 22 points (9 goals, 13 assists). those stats alone should give pause to anyone thinking the Bolts have it easy trying to stop the Kings for the second night in a row.
After tonight, Tampa Bay opens a four game road trip before heading back to Tampa for Thanksgiving.
Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lines
(updated November 13, 2009 by RawCharge subject to change)
Antero Niitymaki (starter)
Find more Kings coverage at Battle of California
[Note by John Fontana, 11/14/09 2:32 PM EST ] The Lightning report, via their official Twitter feed, that Matt Walker will be a game-time decision and if he cannot play, Kurtis Foster will start in his place.