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Well, this is the last chance. Will the Lightning finally get a win against the Rangers tonight? Will we see the team that showed better work habits in the first three games under Interim Head Coach Rick Tocchet, or will it be the team that took a step backward against the Devils on Sunday?
Tocchet sounded a warning for his players when asked this morning if tonight’s game would be a good test.
“The light bulb had better be on tonight because [the Rangers] totally outclassed us in Prague,” Tocchet said.
Tocchet also fired a shot at his players regarding the power play’s continued struggles. Tocchet believes more players heading to the net will solve some of the issues.
“We’re going to get to a point here where we’ll have to change personnel on the power play,” Tocchet said. “Whoever is going to the net is going to be in. It’s just not working now.”
Hardly a veiled threat there!
Mike Smith will be back between the pipes tonight and looks to be healthy. Matt Pettinger is out and Tocchet said he’s having an MRI today to determine the extent of the injury he suffered in practice yesterday. Gary Roberts and Chris Gratton were both on the ice but are expected to be scratched, with David Koci getting the call tonight.
Associate Coach Mike Sullivan will watch tonight’s game from the press box, but will be behind the bench soon, possibly as early as Friday in Minnesota. Cap Raeder remains behind the bench tonight with Wes Walz. Once things settle, Sullivan will run the defense and the penalty kill.