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After a little more than a week on the road the Lightning return home tonight to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. Tampa Bay is coming off an eight-goal outburst against the Calgary Flames on Sunday in an 8-6 victory and will attempt to give Karri Ramo a little more goal support.
The Lightning have scored more than three goals once in his past four starts while the netminder has posted a .928 save percentage along with a 2.72 goals-against average to go along with his 1-2-1 record in those games.
Rick Tocchet said this morning that he will talk with goaltending coach Cap Raeder, but he expects Ramo to carry the ball for a while from here on out. He wouldn't give an exact number of games but the coach has liked Ramo's play of late and he has earned a chance.
There could be some changes in the line-up tonight as the Lightning are expected to recall Paul Szczechura and Brandon Segal from Norfolk. Tocchet said that "a lot of guys are going to be a game time decision." Read into that what you will with the trade deadline approaching.
Tocchet said the mood around the locker room seemed to be pretty loose when the team was on the road out west, but guys seemed a little tighter once they got back today. "Its part of the deal," Tocchet said.
Marek Malik is out with a lower body injury and will not play tonight. Cory Murphy, who missed the morning skate after the birth of his daughter at 12:35 p.m. yesterday, will be in the line up tonight. Keira Layne Murphy was born at Boca Raton Community Hospital and weighed 7 lbs
and 13 oz. Murphy's wife Natalie and the baby are doing fine. He flew to South Florida after the team's plane landed around 5:30 a.m. from Calgary on Monday morning. That will be a good story to tell young Keira once she gets a little older.
As for the Pens, it wasn't clear whether Sidney Crosby will play tonight. They were going to make a decision after their morning skate at the St. Pete Times Forum. With or without him tonight, Tocchet said he expects the Penguins to come at the Lightning with a lot of energy.
"We're going to have to be ready for their forecheck tonight," Tocchet said.