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At the Rink blog

Lightning focused on present against Canucks

Monday, 03.17.2014 / 1:03 PM

By Lonnie Herman - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Lightning focused on present against Canucks

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning finish a six-game homestand Monday when they host the Vancouver Canucks.

The Lightning have gathered six of a possible 10 points and won their past two games after starting the stretch with a 3-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

"We've had a pretty good homestand and we can turn a pretty good homestand into a great homestand with a win [Monday]," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "That's what this is."

The game Monday will feature a reunion of the 2003-04 Lightning team that won the Stanley Cup, and 14 members of that team have returned. Also on hand is that team's coach, John Tortorella, with his new team, the Vancouver Canucks. All that commotion has not gone unnoticed by the current Lightning coach.

"We can get a win in front of a great bunch of history that this organization has had," Cooper said. "I think there will be good energy in the building with the old players coming back and the fiery coach who led the troops 10 years ago. I think the whole thing is pretty cool."

Equally impressed but less moved are the current members of the Lightning.

"To be completely honest, without any disrespect to anyone, no one in here [the Lightning locker room] has any involvement in that," forward Steven Stamkos said. "It's kind of weird to think 10 years down the road. Obviously Marty [St. Louis] was the only guy left from that team that was there with Tortorella. It's a changing of the guard, I guess, in that regard. I think it is an unbelievable honor and gesture to bring those guys back. It's first class. But for us, that's a goal for this group, but I don't think too many guys are focused on that with no one in this room having anything to do with it."

Vancouver completes a four-game road trip Monday and two of its previous three games have gone beyond regulation, most recently a 4-3 shootout win Sunday against the Florida Panthers. With back-to-back games the Canucks held an optional skate Monday morning, but Tortorella saw some good indicators in the comeback effort.

"I think we have shown some signs that we can push back," Tortorella said. "There were a lot of momentum swings in the game [Sunday against Florida]. It was a really weird game but we didn't buckle. We got scored on late in the third period and we still find a way to win the game. We are showing some signs of the fight that we do have with the team and handling some of the momentum swings."

Goalie Eddie Lack will start for Vancouver, his 11th consecutive start.

Here are the lineups each team likely will use:

CANUCKS

Alexandre Burrows - Henrik Sedin - Nicklas Jensen

Chris Higgins - Shawn Matthias - Jannik Hansen

David Booth - Darren Archibald - Zack Kassian

Tom Sestito - Jordan Schroeder - Yannick Weber

Dan Hamhuis - Christopher Tanev

Alexander Edler - Kevin Bieksa

Ryan Stanton - Jason Garrison

Eddie Lack

Jacob Markstrom

Scratched: Zac Dalpe

Injured: Ryan Kesler (knee), Daniel Sedin (hamstring), Mike Santorelli (shoulder), Andrew Alberts (concussion)

LIGHTNING

Ondrej Palat - Valtteri Filppula - Ryan Callahan

Teddy Purcell - Tyler Johnson - Steven Stamkos

J.T. Brown - Tom Pyatt - Alex Killorn

B.J. Crombeen - Nate Thompson - Ryan Malone

Eric Brewer - Radko Gudas

Victor Hedman - Sami Salo

Matthew Carle - Michael Kostka

Ben Bishop

Anders Lindback

Scratched: Nikita Kucherov, Richard Panik, Mark Barberio, Keith Aulie

Quote of the Day

This is a big year for us in a lot of ways. You can see Garth and management really trying to find that solution to get us into the playoffs and consistently have that. The pressure is great. You have to enjoy it. It just means there's a great opportunity ahead of you.

— Islanders captain John Tavares