Ottawa Senators at Tampa Bay Lightning preview

WHERE: St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
MEDIA: Sun Sports (cable), 620 WDAE (radio)

Pavel Kubina will miss the next three games after being suspended by the NHL for his hit on Chicago Blackhawks forward Dave Bolland on Wednesday night:

So the Bolts, already hurting on defense, are down to 6 defensemen for tonight's game, which is the first of a back-to-back weekend affair. The Lightning leave Tampa after the game and open up a four-game road swing from Sunrise (Panthers) to eastern Canada (Maple Leafs, Canadiens, and Senators again).

But first things first -- and hat's the Senators, who are 6-4-0 in their past 10 games. Second things will be second, and that's the Panthers tomorrow in Sunrise.

Dwayne Roloson is expected to make the start in net for the Lightning, Curtis McElhinney (remember him?) may be starting for the Senators.

Talk about awkward.

McElhinney was acquired in the deal that sent Dan Ellis to the Anaheim Ducks before the NHL Trade deadline. McElhinney was placed on waivers by the Bolts so that they could send him to the Norfolk Admirals. The Ottawa Senators claimed him. He has sat on the bench since then. No starts, no appearances, no nothing.

The Senators power play unit is converting 17.4% of their opportunities, that's 16th in the NHL. The Lightning are ranked 6th -- tied with Minnesota -- converting 20.2% of opportunities. On the flip side, the two teams squaring off tonight are ranked all of two-tenths of a percentage point different on the penalty kill. The Lightning are 13th with an 82.6% kill-rate while the Senators are 14th in the league with a 20.4% rate while a man down.

Other Previews

Tampa Bay Lightning official team preview

Lightning Hockey Blog

Full game coverage on SB Nation

Raw Charge on Facebook @RawCharge