The Lightning got back to work today after a tough loss to the Ottawa Senators last night at Scotiabank Place.
There were plenty of tired eyes (from staying up staring at the ceilings of the hotel no doubt) on the team plane this morning as the Lightning took a 90 minute flight to the Steel City before today's 3 p.m. practice.
The team cleared security and customs at the main terminal today, much like "regular" travelers getting on an international flight. This extra step before the flight spared the team from going through customs when landing in Pittsburgh.
Once in Pittsburgh the team checked into the hotel and then came right to Mellon Arena for a video meeting (rightly called by coach Rick Tocchet "the Rocky Horror Picture Show") before practicing hard for almost an hour.
Tocchet and the staff had the players working hard on 1-on-1 and 2-on-2 battles in all four corners of the ice. The coach admitted to the media that Steve Downie ("our most consistent forward the past three games") will move up to play with Vincent Lecavalier and Alex Tanguay tomorrow night. Antero Niittymaki will get his third start of the season.
On a cool, rainy day in Pittsburgh many of the players will opt for a good dinner and a solid night's sleep before tomorrow's tilt against Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
Game time is 7:30 p.m. and it will be broadcast on 620 WDAE and Sun Sports, one of the 45 it will broadcast in high definition this year.
On a side note, the Lightning's game at Philadelphia on November 2 will now be at 5 p.m. to avoid any potential conflicts with the World Series. It was originally scheduled for 7 p.m.