The Tampa Bay Lightning played against the New York Rangers Thursday night, and my was it a thriller. Stamkos scored his league leading 35th goal on a breakaway, Captain Vinny scored a grind-it-out goal, and Garon looked focused in net. As dominant as the Rangers have been this season, I was extremely impressed with the effort put forth by the team as a whole during the game against the Blue Shirts. Of course, the team did end up blowing a third period lead and losing in overtime, but that’s not the encouraging part. For the first time in a while, the Lightning didn’t loose the game; they were simply beaten, fair and square. Top teams find ways to beat teams, and last night’s win for the Rangers was an example of that.
Now, of course, the focus for the team is on the Sabres. This should be an evenly matched game, just looking at the standings. However, the Lightning won two consecutive games against the Buffalo Sabres when the season was still young. If the Sabres still have memories from those games, expect sparks to fly. The Sabres will face the Lightning in the second half of a back-to-back set for the team that starts tonight in Buffalo against the Stars. With Ryan Miller starting tonight against the Stars, the Lightning may see backup goalie Jhonas Enroth tomorrow night. If there is any bad blood still leftover from the last two meetings between these two teams, expect it to be centered around Patrick Kaleta and Steve Downie. The two received matching roughing minors in the first game on the 22nd of October, and dropped the gloves against each other just three days later. This may also be a good showing for the big three of Lecavalier, Stamkos, and St. Louis, who have a combined 8 points (3 goals) in two games against the Sabres. Ryan Miller was in net for both games in late October, allowing 7 goals in total to the Lightning. Everything points to Enroth in net tomorrow against the Lightning.
In other news, Islanders’ goaltender Evgeni Nabakov has been removed from the trading block. As TSN.ca reports…
According to TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun, the New York Islanders believe they’ve got a shot at a playoff spot in the East and GM Garth Snow says that Evgeni Nabokov isn’t on the block.
Obviously, Nabokov is likely a player that every Lightning fan has been keeping a close eye on, but it doesn’t seem like Nabokov will be on the move at all.
For more trade rumors as of tonight on TSN.ca, click here.
Follow me on Twitter: @Gabriel0430