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Hopefully a little confidence will go a long way for the Lightning tonight. With the Buffalo Sabres in town, the Bolts can just look back to October 30 in Buffalo when they handled the Sabres well in a 5-2 win that stands as one of the highlights of the season so far. Despite the recent results, the Lightning are giving a more complete effort these days then back in October, but goals are still hard to come by.
Interim Head Coach Rick Tocchet is focused on attention to detail in the hopes of getting the team on the right track.
“If we start being individuals now we have no chance to get out of this slump,” Tocchet said. “It's a mentality thing we're trying to stress. There's a lot of time left to get back in the race.”
Tocchet wouldn’t reveal any expected lineup changes for tonight, though defenseman Mike Lundin looks set to sit once again. Tocchet seems likely to re-insert Radim Vrbata, but Evgeny Artyukhin’s status is unknown. Ryan Malone
left the ice early during the skate after taking yesterday’s practice off, but it’s not known if he’ll be sidelined.
Tocchet said Matt Pettinger’s lower body injury is almost healed and there’s a chance he could get back in the lineup during the upcoming four-game road trip. Chris Gratton and David Koci (lower body for both) have been skating on their own, while Gary Roberts still isn’t skating.