The learning curve: Bolts look for rebound against Stars (preview)

WHERE: St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
WHEN: 7:30 PM EDT
MEDIA: Sun Sports (cable), 620 WDAE (radio)
OPPONENT COVERAGEDefending Big D

OK, so they fell down and went boom in Sunrise.  We saw that.  It happened.  It's over.  At least that's the approach you should hope they take after Saturday night's loss to the Panthers.

Now the question is, how quickly will they get back on their feet again?  Will they learn from mistakes and move forward?  Whatever the case, the learning experiences should continue in tonight's matchup against the undefeated Dallas Stars.

Another question that needs to be answered, is the status of Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier, after taking a shot to the hand Saturday.  He's listed as doubtful to play.  That puts a damper on the Brad Richards return to Tampa (and the subsequent stories that will pop up about his long time friendship with Vinny),.

Mike Smith looks like the starter tonight fo the Lightning in net.  In three games this season,l he has a 3.20 GAA and a .890 save percentage.  Before anyone crows that this is evidence that Dan Ellis should start, Dan has a 3.99 GAA and .880 Save percentage.  

It's only foour games.  Relax.  Try the decaf.

Dallas is 2-for15 on the power play this season.  That doesn't really mean the Lightning are going to get off easy on the PK (where they gave Florida it's first power play goal of the season).  Tampa Bay's PP rate has fallen to 9th in the league, they are 4-for-19 (or 21%) with the man advantage.  On the other hand, Dallas is where they are despite being 28th in the league on the penalty kill (6-for-20, or 70%).  The Lightning are tied for 7th in the league on the Penalty kill (2-for-17, an 88.2% kill rate)

Kari Lehtonen has started all four of Dallas' games so far.  He's done well -- 2.39 GAA and a .932 save percentage.  On the heels of being shut out by Tomas Vokoun, the Bolts will have to work if they want to light the lamp against Dallas.  

Other Previews

Tampa Bay Lightning official team preview

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