TAMPA, FL -DECEMBER 4: Ryan Malone #6 of the Tampa Bay Lightning passes the puck against Milan Hejduk #23 of the Colorado Avalanche at the St. Pete Times Forum on December 4, 2010 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Lightning Look To End Avs' Home Streak

The Tampa Bay Lightning face off tonight against the Colorado Avalanche. Game time tonight is 9 pm EST, so it will be another late night for most of our fans. Hopefully, we will be staying up to see a quality game played by the Lightning.

Two nights ago in San Jose, the Lightning did not look good at all against the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks jumped on the Lightning in the first period, scoring five goals before there were five minutes left in the period. After the horrendous period, the game was all but done, as the score was 5-1. Lightning goaltender Mathieu Garon was pulled after playing just over 6 minutes and allowing 3 goals. Coach Guy Boucher pulled the trigger quickly, as the third goal was an easy wrap around in which Garon did not make much of an effort to cover the lower part of the net. The Lightning went on to lose the game by a score of 7-2.

If there was any positive in Wednesday’s game, it was the return of Martin St. Louis. After suffering what The Hockey Writers called a “Horrific Eye Injury”, St. Louis returned, missing only five games after injuring his left eye during practice. After a slow start for most of the game, St. Louis scored the second goal of the game. It was in fact a great goal, considering the fact that he was injured in such a scary manner. I joked on Twitter; St. Louis goal in a game like that means he must keep the mask all year now. Expect St. Louis to equip a visor, once he can take off the cage.

Friday’s game against the Avalanche won’t be any easier. The Avs are 12th in the Western Conference but have won 7 straight at the Pepsi Center, one game shy of the franchise record set when the franchise was based in Quebec. The Avalanche won their last game, 3-2 against the St. Louis Blues. Avs goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere made a season-high 37 saves, earning the win for his team. As always, look for the young talents of Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog to show their skills against a less than average Lightning defense. Along with the two young stars, the Bolts’ defense will have to deal with the veteran presence of Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk.

With the return of St. Louis, Guy Boucher can pick spots in which to use the big three of Marty, Vinny, and Stamkos. Also playing well lately, Eric Brewer three game point streak, tallying up 1 goal and 2 assists in that span. Dominic Moore has also been heating up for the Lightning, as he has points in five of his last six games. The Lightning, as much as they have been struggling to score goals, have also been allowing way too many in their own net. The defensive struggles have been on both the defenders and the goalies. Both sides will need to show up in order to prevent what will likely be a very energized Avalanche club at home from running up the score.

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