Tampa Bay Lightning versus New Jersey Devils preview

Last season, Dwayne Roloson was vital to the Tampa Bay Lightning. This season? It ain't as pretty... (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)

WHERE: St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
WHEN:7 PM EST | | TICKETS: Check Availability
MEDIA: Versus / NBC Sports Net* (cable), 970 WFLA (radio)
OPPONENT COVERAGE: In Lou We Trust

*On January 2nd, Versus becomes NBC Sports Net. Yes, you will still want to mute telecasts. Just know now the stations name is changing.

The Lightning make a two-game stop at home before venturing out west before the holiday break. Tonight's opponent, the New Jersey Devils, compliments the recent tri-state area contests against the Islanders, Rangers and Flyers during last week's four stint in the northeast.

Dwayne Roloson will start in net for the Lightning. Roloson has struggled of late, his statistics reflect it quite easily: a 3.55 goals-against average, a .886 save percentage. Sometimes, vintage Roloson success will appear -- a shutout, a one-goal game... Other times, and all too often, it's been a drubbing that the Lightning have suffered with Roloson between the pipes.

At times, it would make no difference who the netminder was. Other times, however, you have felt lucky when Roloson was not starting in net (like Saturday's loss in Philadelphia). That's not trying to tar and feather Roloson, it is trying to publicly ask if the real Roloson will please stand up? The one who we want between the pipes, the one who helped propel the Bolts as far as they went last season?

This will be a short preview due to scheduling issues. Evan Oberg has once again been recalled by the Lightning. He was up with the club during the recent road spin, but played in no games. Why was he recalled? No sure. Pavel Kubina practiced with the team, taking contact once again. He's available to come off injured reserve.

There was an mystery injured defenseman on the recent road trip, which was why Evan had been recalled in the first place. Of course, Victor Hedman had also been hurt during Saturday's loss in Philly. There were no reports today that Victor was hobbled, slowed, sidelined or kept out of practice.

Perhaps Evan is being kept around for his charming personality? I couldn't tell you. We'll find out soon enough.

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