As was suggested in the preview, it looks like Brett Connolly makes his return to the Tampa Bay Lightning lineup tonight, playing on the fourth line with Brendan Morrow and Brian Boyle. Connolly hasn't played since the Bolts win in Winnipeg in October.
While I didn't catch the defensive pairings for tonight, any Lightning fan following the major players of Lightning coverage could see that there was something positive on the blue line happening in practice:
#tblightning Hedman got cleared to do some shooting yesterday. Says he's still a week and a half away from returning.— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) November 20, 2014
The sooner, Victor, the better. But don't rush it!
In the crease, Ben Bishop will man the pipes for Tampa Bay. His numbers have ticked upward as of late to better reflect his dominant 11-2-2 record: a 2.26 GAA and a .919 save percentage. The simple fact is Big Ben is facing more shots and stopping them... Thus the stats have solidified.
Meanwhile, across the ice, it'll be Jonathan Bernier in the crease for the Maple Leafs. Bernier has a 5-5-2 record and a 2.72 GAA along with a solid .915 save percentage; he's also had one shutout this season. That should give you the idea this could very well become a goalie duel tonight if both netminders are on their game.