WHERE: BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise, Florida
WHEN: 7 PM EDT
MEDIA: WTOG CW 44 (local broadcast), 1250 AM (radio)
OPPONENT COVERAGE: Litter Box Cats
Third game in four days. Third home opener in four games.
Fourth win in four games? That's, of course, is what we want to see tonight for the Lightning in Sunrise to take on the cross-state rival Panthers.
While the Lightning took four points from two games in hostile environments (and you don't get much more hostile than dealing with the Montreal media... Cheers, Philadelphia!), the Cats have been taking in beautiful western Canada and experiencing the Northwest culture to start the season... And dropping two out of three in the process.
The Bolts are going to have to replicate the attack on net that they performed in Montreal if they hope to solve Tomas Vokoun. They'll also have to play soundly on defense, like they did in Philly, and not give up any fluke goals.
Third home opener in four games, and third homecoming on the road... Well, if you can characterize it as a homecoming. Dominic Moore, who is turning heads and raising confidence in depth of the Bolts offense, returns to south Florida. He had been part of the Panthers last season. Dom hasn't stuck around long anywhere in the NHL during his career, but this is still a return, none-the-less.
While we are talking about returns, lets mention the return to NHL action for Mattias Ritola. Ritola was plucked off waivers from the Red Wings before the start of the season. Who is out? Best guess would be Dana Tyrell and the likes of Matt Smaby, who saw a pittance of playing time in Philadelphia on Thursday night.
Dan Ellis is go between the pipes for TB.
The Bolts have not given up a goal while a man-down since opening night. One goal on 13 penalty-kill shifts. Nice. Florida, on the other hand, is yet to give up a goal while playing shorthanded. They have killed off all six opponents power-plays this season.
The Cats are oh-fer the power play this season, yet to score a goal with a man-advantage of their own. The Lightning are eighth in the league (4 for 17) so far this season.
Our official, rootin' tootin', totally awesome game thread will be opening at 6:30 PM tonight. While you're waiting, why not check out our Facebook page?