The Tampa Bay Lightning traveled to Boston last night following a 5-2 victory at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs, as the Bolts will complete the second half of a back-to-back set tonight versus the Bruins.
The game is a makeup contest that was originally scheduled for earlier in the season, back in February, but had to be postponed due to a severe snow storm at the time in the Boston area.
Nevertheless, here are a few notes leading up to the game tonight:
LINEUPS, INJURIES AND ILLNESSES
With Ben Bishop playing last night, Anders Lindback will be in net tonight for the Lightning.
Lindback last played on April 21 in a 3-2 loss versus Carolina, but prior to that, had allowed no more than two goals in each of his last seven appearances.
Ryan Malone is still out due to illness and will not play for a second consecutive game tonight.
Despite being shaken up during last night’s win against Toronto, although he did return, Radko Gudas will play tonight and told reporters Thursday morning that his ankle is fine and that he foresees no problems occurring in the future from the incident.
The remainder of the lineup will remain the same from last night, head coach Jon Cooper added.
Mathieu Roy also joined the team today in Boston, and is expected to play.
There was a moment during last night’s game in which three players – Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and Sidney Crosby – were each tied for the league lead in points with 56, that was until St. Louis scored two more goals to complete his seventh career hat trick and push his own number to 58 for sole possession of the top spot in the NHL.
With two games left to play for the Lightning, should his numbers hold up, St. Louis would become the oldest player to ever win the Art Ross Trophy, an award he also won during the 2003-04 season.
Of course, with Crosby injured and not expected to play for the remainder of the regular season, Stamkos appears to be St. Louis’ only competitor, as he is two behind his Lightning teammate in the points standings.
So, even with the team out of the playoffs, there is still a lot riding on the final two games of the season, as both St. Louis and Stamkos hope to bring home some prestigious hardware at the end of the year.
NOTES AND NUMBERS
-Anders Lindback has started both games against the Bruins this season
-Teddy Purcell has recorded four assists in two games against Boston this season, tallying a pair of helpers in each meeting
-Steven Stamkos ranks second among all NHL skaters with 29 goals this season and is tied for second with 56 points, two behind teammate Martin St. Louis for the league lead
-Martin St. Louis currently ranks first in the NHL in assists with 42 and is also the league leader in points with 58
-Steven Stamkos has netted seven goals in his past five games against Boston
-Martin St. Louis has points in five of his past six games versus the Bruins (one goal, five assists)