The Lightning face a back to back on the road tonight against The Phoenix Coyotes. One of the big stories is the fact that Dwayne Roloson will be up against former Bolt Mike Smith. Another story is that The Lightning have snapped their seven game losing streak with an emotional win against Boston, which fueled a second win against Dallas last night. This was the first victory on the road in six games.
Last night was a big victory for The Lightning. They have been struggling on the road this year. Teddy Purcell was one of two of Tampa’s shining stars. He had a six shots on goal by the middle of the second period, a personal season high for shots in a single game. He ended up scoring the only two goals that lead Tampa to a victory over The Dallas Stars 2-1. The assists were Marty St. Louis and Bruno Gervais on the first goal, Marty St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier on the second. This was Teddy’s second game of the season where he has had multiple points and the first where he has scored more than one goal. Coach Boucher told media in a pregame interview today that Teddy has an amazing shot. He’s a great feeder too, and relies more on feeding the goals to top scorers like Steve Stamkos. After his amazing performance last night, maybe this will give Teddy the confidence to keep taking those shots. “He’s got skill, he’s got the vision, he’s got the smarts. he knows where to go on the ice.” Coach Boucher praised him. The second star was goal tender Mathieu Garon who made 27 saves of 28 shots. He gave us all a heart attack when he went down in the second period after a collision with Steven Stamkos with an apparent shoulder injury. He shook it off and remained in the game. In my opinion, last night was won of his best games with Tampa yet. He had some amazing saves.
Tonight Tampa takes on The Phoenix Coyotes. Former Bolt goalie Mike Smith is looking forward to taking on his former teammates. “I feel good about my game and it’s going to be fun to play against those guys that I’ve played with the last few years,” Smith told Phoenix media. “I have a lot of good, fond memories of being in Tampa and a lot of great friendships I’ve made.” He was with Tampa from 2008 until last year when he signed with The Coyotes as a free agent. He has had an amazing change since moving up there. Maybe it’s the change of air pressure, maybe it’s the change to the western style of hockey. Whatever it is, it’s sure working for him. In their last game he made 33 saves against Detroit. They still fell to The Red Wings 3-2 in an overtime shootout. Radim Vrbata played 18 games with The Lighting in 2008-2009.
The numbers: The Lighting is 19-23-4 The Coyotes are 21-19-8. Tampa has 42 points this season, Phoenix has 50. At home Tampa is 12-7-1, Phoenix is 9-8-4. In the past 10 games The Lightning is 3-6-1 The Coyotes are 3-3-4. As I said yesterday, Tampa doesn’t look at the numbers. They focus on the here and now. They concentrate on the game at hand. Tonight is about tonight, and tonight only.
This injuries: Mattias Ohlund, Ryan Shannon, Adam Hall, Victor Hedman, Marc-Andre Bergeron, and Tom Pyatt are still out for Tampa. Kurt Sauer (Post-Concussion Syndrome), Martin Hanzel (upper body), and David Schlemko (lower body) are all on The Coyote’s injured reserve list.
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