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Niitty Expected In Net Again Tonight, Possible Change on Defense

by Lightning Insider / Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning will play the second game of the home stand tonight before heading out on the road for another week. The Lightning will need to come out hard out of the gates tonight as the Kings were blown out, 7-0, in Atlanta last night.  Needless to say, Los Angeles should come out with a lot of jump tonight, despite playing last night, trying to redeem themselves and the Bolts need to be ready for it.

Antero Niittymaki will get his fifth consecutive start in between the pipes tonight for the Lightning.  Niittymaki has been outstanding for the Lightning this season, en route to ranking second in the NHL with a .937 save percentage.  In his previous fours starts the Lightning have been outshot 141-95, yet thanks to some good, at times brilliant, goaltending Tampa Bay has posted a 3-0-1 record in that time. 

Head Coach Rick Tocchet said a number of players, specifically Alex Tanguay are better players when they are engaging and going to the net.  He said when some of the Lightning players are playing a less aggressive game on the perimeter they are much less effective.  Case and point is Thursday’s win against Minnesota, when all three Tampa Bay goals came from in front of the net. 

It sounds like Matt Walker is a little banged up and will be a game time decision today.  If Walker is not able to go look for Tocchet to go with Kurtis Foster instead on the blue line.  Tocchet really likes Foster’s booming right-hand shot on the power play and said he played well in his last game, November 7 at Montreal.

Tomorrow the team will fly to Phoenix for the meeting with the Coyotes on Monday night.

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