The Tampa Bay Lightning held its traditional gameday morning skate on Thursday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in preparation for tonight’s 7:30 start against the Boston Bruins.
Tampa Bay is coming off back-to-back wins, while the Bruins come in well-rested, having last played a game on Sunday.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the session:
LINEUPS, INJURIES AND ILLNESSES
Anders Lindback will earn a third consecutive start in net for the Lightning tonight.
Lindback is 2-0-0 in his past two starts but has earned the team at least a point in each of his past three appearances, going 2-0-1.
Not all players participated in the morning skate on Thursday, as some had the morning off.
Boucher said the lineup for tonight will be a game-time decision. Factoring into that is the fact that defenseman Keith Aulie is sick and likely will be out against the Bruins.
Ryan Malone, although still on Injured Reserve with a lower body injury, skated this morning by himself and with no pads on before the rest of the players got on the ice.
SAME FACE, NEW PLACE
Head coach Guy Boucher assessed the Bruin's strengths on Wednesday as he prepared the Lightning for Thursday night's match up.
The large Boston media contingent present at the Times Forum on Thursday morning was glad to see Lightning forward Benoit Pouliot, who last season appeared in 74 games with the Bruins and recorded a career-high 32 points.
Tonight’s game against the Bruins will be the first time Pouliot faces his former club, and said that while it’s a little strange to go up against his old teammates, nothing too much should change in his game that would differ due to the opponent.
“It’s mostly the same thing as every other game,” Pouliot said. “I’ll try not to think about it too much, but it is on your mind a little bit. Our team is playing well though and our line with Marty and Vinny has been good, so I don’t want to change too much.”
Pouliot said he still keeps in touch with some of his Bruins teammates, but did not get the chance to this morning.
“Probably after the game,” he added.
NOTES AND NUMBERS
-The Lightning have sold out each home game this season, including tonight's matchup versus Boston (capacity 19,204)
-Tampa Bay will put their home record of 6-2-1 up to the test against Boston's 5-1-1 road record
-The Lightning enter tonight's game with the league's top home power play at 35.0 percent, while the Bruins own the league's top road penalty kill at 96.3 percent
-Tampa Bay's penalty killing unit was a perfect 16-for-16 against the Bruins last season during the four- game season series
-Tampa Bay has notched four or more goals in a game in eight of their first 15 games this season
QUOTE TO NOTE
Benoit Pouliot, on what makes the Bruins a tough team to beat:
“They’re big, fast, strong and they follow the game plan every game. They do what they’re supposed to do.”