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Well, things don’t get easier tonight after Tuesday night’s shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs as the division-leading Washington Capitals visit the St. Pete Times Forum. The NHL’s leading goal-scorer, Alex Ovechkin, and the Caps have defeated the Lightning in eight consecutive games. Rick Tocchet said this morning that he admired Washington, “They took their licks a few years ago and they stayed the course.”
The Lightning will try to use a few roster changes tonight in order to turn the tide. With Cory Murphy’s foot broken by a Vincent Lecavalier
slap shot on Tuesday, Josef Melichar cleared re-entry waivers today and was recalled. He is expected to be back in the line-up tonight. Melichar drove to Norfolk after being reassigned and turned right around and drove back to Tampa to be here in time for the game tonight. It looks as though Mike McKenna will get his first start since March 7 versus Carolina. Adam Hall
will be back in the line up, but Tocchet would not tip his hand this morning as far as who will sit this one out.
Steve Downie is in Tampa to participate in a similar off-ice program to Steven Stamkos
. Downie was suspended by the AHL for 20 games for an incident in Norfolk. He will be doing two-a-day off-ice work outs while he is in Tampa. “His body has to be in better hockey shape,” Tocchet said.
Being with the team every day it is amazing to watch Martin St. Louis
’ compete level from day-to-day and game-to-game. Tocchet summed it up best, “Every night he does the right things and sets an example for the other players. It really helps the coaches.”