The Tampa Bay Lightning skated this morning at the Tampa Bay Times Forum to prepare for tonight’s 7 p.m. puck drop against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Here are some notes and quotes pertinent to tonight’s game, leading up to the action:
LINEUPS, INJURIES AND ILLNESSES
Ben Bishop will make the start in net tonight for the Lightning.
Bishop has played in eight of the team’s 10 games since coming to Tampa Bay, posting a 2-4-2 record with a 3.12 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.
Ryan Malone will also be out of the lineup tonight and will not play, after head coach Jon Cooper stated that the Bolts forward is still recovering from a fever-like illness that also caused him to miss practice on Tuesday.
Lightning forward Teddy Purcell shared his take on what's at stake for players in the final three games of the season.
Mathieu Roy, signed to a contract yesterday for the remaining three games of the season, is likely to join the team in Boston on Thursday, but the team will still have decisions to make regarding both Radko Gudas and Richard Panik, which will depend on how healthy the team is.
Cooper added it would be ideal to have Gudas and Panik in Syracuse for the start of the American Hockey League postseason, but at the same time, he said, “we want to field the best team on the ice [with the Lightning] as we can to win hockey games.”
NOTES AND NUMBERS
-The Bolts have gone 5-2-1 over their last eight home games
-Both games this season have been decided by a pair of goals, with each team winning a game in its home arena
-The Lightning have gone 7-3-1 against the Maple Leafs in their past 11 home contests
-Both Tampa Bay and Toronto rank in the top five in average goals per game
-The Bolts haven't allowed a power play goal against Toronto this season
THEY SAID IT
Ben Bishop, on facing the Maple Leafs:
“They’re very offensive , they’re very quick, they move the puck fast, especially on the power play, so you just have to be ready. They zip it around pretty good.”
Teddy Purcell, on what the team will play for in the final three games:
“There’s a lot to play for still. We want to play for the fans, come out strong and show them that the last game isn’t what we’re about, and we just want to keep improving for next season and to show our coach that we want to be here. You know, after this season we won’t play as a team for the next four months, so these next three games are important.”