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It was all business this morning in the Lightning locker room after a three-day break between games. The team’s done well to get back to the .500 mark with three consecutive wins, but the feeling is that the Bolts need to continue their strong run. Tonight’s opponent, Carolina, is building a strong lead in the Southeast Division, and the Lightning need every point possible against the Canes if they intend to keep pace.
Tampa Bay had it’s usual optional skate this morning, with a handful of players taking the morning off. Johan Holmqvist will be in net, though John Tortorella’s abbreviated press conference (only one question from the gallery) didn’t shed any light on the starting lines for tonight.
One humorous note from the morning – Lightning forward Nick Tarnasky was seen shaking his head in mock disgust while requesting an Andre Roy jersey from a Lightning PR rep. Turns out, the jersey’s for Tarnasky’s father!
The Hurricanes are without EriK Cole tonight after he suffered another scary neck injury Monday night against the Panthers. Word is that the Canes are awaiting results from some tests, and if all turns out OK Cole could be back in the lineup by the weekend. It looks like the Canes will throw John Grahame between the pipes tonight, as Grahame came off first at the morning skate. Not sure if it was Grahame’s turn in the rotation, or if the Canes are changing things up after Cam Ward gave up five against the Lightning last Thursday.