Home time; Tampa Bay Lightning versus Philadelphia Flyers preview

WHERE: St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
WHEN:7:30 PM EST | | TICKETS: Check Availability
MEDIA: Sun Sports (cable), 970 WFLA (radio)
OPPONENT COVERAGE: Broad Street Hockey

Tonight is game #35 of the NHL season for the Lightning, 21 of the first 34 games of Tampa Bay's season were played on the road, with thanks to the renovations at Times Palace ongoing.

Game 35 might not be the half-way point ot the season, but it does mark the end of a road-wary team's travels. Oh, the Bolts still hit the road for stretches during the weeks to come, but 26 of the next 40 games played will be at Times Palace.

For a team that must get it's act together if it wants to make the playoffs, the comforts of home may just be the remedy for what ails the Lightning. Or not.

Eastern Standings

New York Rangers 34 22-8-4 48
Boston Bruins 33 23-9-1 47
Florida Panthers 36 18-11-7 43
Philadelphia Flyers 34 21-9-4 46
Pittsburgh Penguins 35 20-11-4 44
Toronto Maple Leafs 35 18-13-4 40
New Jersey Devils 35 19-15-1 39
Ottawa Senators 36 17-14-5 39
Buffalo Sabres 35 17-15-3 37
Winnipeg Jets 35 16-14-5 37
Washington Capitals 34 17-15-2 36
Montreal Canadiens 36 13-16-7 33
Tampa Bay Lightning 34 14-17-3 31
Carolina Hurricanes 37 12-19-6 30
New York Islanders 34 11-17-6 28

Tonight also marks Martin St. Louis' return to action at the Forum after taking a puck to the face in practice earlier this month. Marty, as you know, returned to action last week in San Jose, but he has not played in a hom egame since December 3rd against the New York Rangers.

So, during warm-ups or player introduction before the game, when you hear #26's name called, do Marty a service and cheer him loud, cheer him long, and when you're done cheering him -- cheer some more. It's the most direct appreciation we, as fans, can show him.

Matt GIlroy returned to practice yesterday, though I wouldn't put money down on him playing tonight. While I don't expect a call-up, Norfolk Admirals defenseman Evan Oberg better have an overnight bag packed and ready, just in case.

Also still practicing with the red, no-contact jersey, is Nate Thompson.

Mathieu Garon looks to start, again, for the Lightning. No telling if Ilya Brygalov or Sergei Bobrovsky starts for the Flyers... But for marketing purposes (and the next edition of HBO 24/7) you'd have to think it'd be Bryz between the pipes:

Other Previews

Tampa Bay Lightning official team preview

Full game coverage on SB Nation


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