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Important three game road trip begins tonight in Montreal

by Lightning Insider / Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning began preparations for a big week with practice at the St. Pete Times Forum on Monday and flew to Montreal Monday afternoon. The team was greeted by relatively balmy (50 degrees) weather in Quebec and an uneventful evening. The morning skate was pretty quiet by Montreal standards as well due in part to the fact that the Canadiens now conduct their morning skates in a practice facility and not the Bell Centre. So Lightning stars Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis did not see the amount of French-Canadian media they are accumstomed to.

St. Louis did walk the Tampa and Montreal media through his head injury suffered on Saturday night in the win over Atlanta and his subsequent recovery. St. Louis said he feels completely fine but believes he will not fully know how he is doing until he skates those first couple of shifts in tonight's game. We're betting he will be just fine.

Coach Rick Tocchet did confirm for the media after practice that Ryan Malone likely would not play tonight because of an upper body injury that has been nagging him for a few games. Malone did not go on the ice this morning and he will be listed as "day-to-day" until he is able to return to the ice. Zenon Konopka will also be out for the Bolts due to some back spasms. He is not on the road trip and is not expected to join the team at any point, so we will get an update on Knopper when the team returns to Tampa for Sunday's home game with Pittsburgh.

Other than the injury that's about it for today. Look for Antero Niittymaki to get the start in goal as he left the ice first this morning and look for the Bolts to come out flying in the Bell Centre as the team looks to keep themselves in the playoff race right to the end. Tonight's game begins at 7:30 p.m. and it can be found on Sun Sports or am 620WDAE.

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