So, uh... Lemme follow up Thursday's preview with what the Bolts seemed to do:
It's not that the Bolts spent the entire game locked up in a catatonic state. They were like that for just 55 minutes or so. The game was most competitive in the waning moments while the Bolts decided to play catch-up, and caught Winnipeg's Former-Thrashers napping.
Not only did the comeback show the Bolts have the talent to still compete in spite of the recent roster losses, but it showed the cunning ability of head coach Guy Boucher.
You may hold doubts for the Lightning and their competitiveness the remainder of the season, but don't doubt their resolve.
...Unless you look at the first 55 minutes of Thursday night's game in Winnipeg, where the Bolts seemed to resolve to go through the motions. That should make fans worried going into this afternoon's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins; playing catch-up with one of the most potent offenses in professional sports (let alone hockey) isn't an option, and if the Bolts are listless early on, it will be a long afternoon.
Lightning and Penguin fans both know this, but the rest of the league should be made aware (if they aren't already) that this game features the two top-scoring forwards this season in the league. Evgeni Malkin and Steven Stamkos are tied for the league lead in points, with 73 each. Stamkos leads the league with 43 goals, while Malkin is in second place with 33.
Tim Wallace will make his Tampa Bay Lightning debut. Wallace was claimed off waivers from the New York Islanders on Thursday. He'll be playing on the lower lines and my guess is that he will be limited ice time (unless he clicks) as he adapts to the Tampa Bay system.
Dwayne Roloson will get the start for the Lightning in net; he'll be pitted against Marc-Andre Fluery.