The team got to their hotel last night around 11 p.m., after its big 5-1 win over the NY Rangers at MSG. After a rainy day in Manhattan yesterday, the team was greeted with sunny skies, but 20 degree weather with lots of wind this morning.
The short bus ride from New York City to Uniondale allowed for the team to have a more typical morning skate today, despite it being a back-to-back situation. Only a handful of players participated in the optional skate, but tonight’s starting goalie was out there. Evgeni Nabokov will be facing his old mates tonight at Nassau Coliseum. Nabokov didn’t speak with the media following the skate, but yesterday he mentioned to media that he looked forward to the opportunity to play against his former team.
The Lightning caught the Islanders on the second half of a back-to-back over the weekend and tonight the roles will be reversed. In fact, the Islanders haven’t played since their game on Saturday night in Tampa. The Lightning improved their record to 4-1-0 in the first half of back-to-backs last night with their win over the Rangers. Tampa Bay is just 2-2-0 in the second half of such scenarios this season.
Steven Stamkos comes into tonight’s game blazing hot and sporting a six-game point streak. The Lightning captain was the game’s first star last night which included a highlight reel breakaway goal.
Jon Cooper mentioned there would be some line-up changes this evening but didn’t divulge what they would be.
On the injury front, Victor Hedman was skating this morning along with Brett Connolly. Connolly spoke with the media this morning and said that today is the best he’s felt and his return would be soon. Hedman is still doing mainly skating drills and his return isn’t imminent.