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Well, tonight the Lightning’s home schedule comes to a close with their final game of the season against the Washington Capitals. Don’t forget to come on out for all the fan appreciation events before the game tonight, including the red carpet walk. Fans will also have the opportunity to win the jerseys off the players backs in a post-game ceremony. It should be a fun atmosphere tonight.
As for the game, the blue line will look a tad different tonight as Tampa Bay has recalled defensemen Kevin Quick from Norfolk. You’ll remember Quick played four games with the Lightning earlier this season. He is a smaller player with good skating and passing ability and should help get the puck out of the defensive zone tonight. That will be a key as Tampa Bay tries to keep Alex Ovechkin and the rest of the Caps out of the offensive zone.
Karri Ramo will get the start in goal again tonight. He has faced 30 or more shots in six of his previous seven starts. Give Ramo credit though he has hung in there and kept the Lightning in most games. Rick Tocchet said this morning that Tampa Bay will need to play as a five-man unit against all the offensive firepower on the opposite side tonight. “Obviously match-ups are huge,” Tocchet told the media this morning. “That’s why its so important for our forwards to play a tight, back-pressure game. We can’t give these guys 120 feet of offense.”
On a side note, I don’t think you can say enough about the professionalism and work ethic of Martin St. Louis
. The guy works hard every day no matter where the team is in the standings and he is a great leader for a guy like Steven Stamkos
. If Stamkos is going to learn from someone there is no better option than St. Louis. St. Louis is responsible on both sides of the ice, as evidenced by his fifth 30-goal season and his team-leading plus-6 rating, and is a great example of how to be successful in the NHL. “He’s our leader and that stuff rubs off, especially on a guy like Stamkos,” Tocchet said. “Marty cares and he wants to be a part of the solution, not the problem. I can’t say enough about him. It makes my job easier having Marty St. Louis on the team.”