The Lightning got to Pittsburgh last night around midnight from Columbus after the tough 3-2 loss at the hands of the Blue Jackets. It was a tough game because the Bolts played well until third period penalties got them in trouble. But the show goes on tonight as the team finishes this four-game road trip with their final game at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. Partaking in their final game here at Mellon Arena is special for former Penguins Ryan Malone and Rick Tocchet. Malone helped the Pens’ to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2009 while Tocchet brought the Stanley Cup to Steel Town as a player in 1992.
As for the game, it looks as though Mike Smith will get the start in goal tonight. Victor Hedman, ailing from suffering a lower body injury last night, will not play tonight. He is listed as day-to-day. With him out the Lightning recalled defenseman Matt Lashoff from Norfolk on an emergency basis. He will wear No. 55. In speaking with him when he arrived he mentioned that when Norfolk takes the ice this weekend they will do so with only one defenseman that started the season there. That is a testament to how banged up the Bolts’ blue line corps really is right now. Got to give credit to Vlad “Avatar” Mihalik last night though. He played a good game and looked much more comfortable in playing almost 10 minutes.
Though my belt is probably not happy about it, a couple of our traveling party walked over to Primanti Brothers after the morning skate. The restaurant is a Pittsburgh tradition and most likely the only place in the world where you actually get the french fries and coleslaw on your sandwich. If you’re ever in Pittsburgh it is highly recommended.
After the game the Lightning will jump on the plane and head back to Tampa where the New York Rangers will already be waiting for the game Friday night at the St. Pete Times Forum.