GAME DAY: Red Wings at Lightning 2/17/11

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Red Wings (34-16-6) at Lightning (34-17-6) 7:30 p.m.

The Lightning look for redemption tonight when they play the Detroit Red Wings at the Forum.  These teams haven’t faced each other since last season, when the Red Wings shut out the Bolts 3-0.

Needless to say, a lot has changed since then.  The Lightning have changed their coach and general manager.  There have been ownership and marketing changes.  However, most importantly, there have been personnel changes. Big ones.

Dwayne Roloson continues to come up big for the Bolts, and Simon Gagne is fitting in nicely as well.  With the continued improvement of Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman and the steady play of veterans Martin St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier, Tampa Bay is a much more threatening team than last season.  They are getting goal support and goaltending, which can be a brutal match.

This will obviously be an emotional night for general manager Steve Yzerman.  He left the Red Wings organization to GM the Lightning.  In addition to his front office role there, Detroit is where Yzerman called home for the last 26 years as both a player and a front-office member.  He had spent his entire professional hockey life in Detroit before moving to the Bay.

Captain Lecavalier is in the midst of a four game points streak.  He has five goals and an assist in that time, and there is no doubt the Bolts are going to need their best players to be their best players if they are going to rise above the battered Red Wings.

Expect Yzerman to put some money on the board, and expect a tight game between the second-best in the East and the second-best in the West.

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Tags: Detroit Red Wings Tampa Bay Lightning

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