The Lightning enter tonight's game riding a two-game winning streak, tied for the longest of the season. They have also taken four of the past five. The Bolts will try and extend their recent success tonight against the Montreal Canadiens at the St. Pete Times Forum. Remember tonight is a 7 p.m. start and is not on TV locally.
Rick Tocchet said this morning the biggest thing when winning games is having a "act like you've been there" mentality. The team can not get too high after winning a few games and simply have to go about their business regardless of the previous game's outcome. Tocchet said the leadership, specifically Vincent Lecavalier and Mattias Ohlund, have done a great job keeping an even keel and setting an example for the younger players.
Mike Smith will get his fifth consecutive start tonight after posting a 3-1-0 record in the previous four games. During that time he has posted a .924 save percentage and a 2.51 goals-against average. Smith is coming off a dazzling 31-save performance against the Boston Bruins on Monday and certainly deserves another shot tonight.
In some non-game news, Matt Walker, out since December 18 with a lower body injury, skated with the team today. Tocchet said he is going to need some quality ice time to get back, but he feels okay. There will be some decisions to be made when he, as well as Jeff Halpern and Todd Fedoruk, come off the injured list.
In Olympic news, goaltender Antero Niittymaki was named to Team Finland today.