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After taking Friday off, the Lightning were back on the ice this morning in preparation for tonight’s big Southeast Division match-up against the Atlanta Thrashers. Head coach John Tortorella said he would go with the same lineup (with Holmqvist replacing denis in goal) that played against the Islanders Thursday night as the Bolts try to improve to 6-0-1 at the St. Pete Times Forum.
After Thursday’s 4-0 loss on Long Island Tortorella said he was generally pleased by the team’s effort despite the outcome.
“The key is sticking together and not getting into a situation where you get more frustrated,” Tortorella said. “We’ll get an ugly bounce and we’ll start scoring, and people will ease up in the pressure they’re putting on themselves.”
Atlanta, coming off a 6-4 loss at Ottawa Thursday night, will try to finish their season-long seven-game road swing on a high note tonight. So far the Thrashers are 3-3 on the trip, which began here at the St. Pete Times Forum on October 20 (a 6-2 Lightning win).
Things will shake out in the Southeast Division during the next two-and-a-half weeks thanks to the NHL schedule-makers. The Thrashers – like the Lightning – begin an eight-game division tour tonight, while Carolina is already in the midst of a nine-game span against division foes. The Panthers begin their nine-game run against the Division when they visit the Hurricanes tonight, while Washington starts a nine-of-10 division run on Monday night.