GAME: Colorado Avalanche (25-11-7-2) at Tampa Bay Lightning (21-16-6-1).
TIME: Monday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
If the Tampa Bay Lightning's last game is any indication, Colorado Avalanche
goaltender David Aebischer could have his hands full when the teams meet at the
St. Pete Times Forum.
The Lightning did all they could to extend their five-game winning streak
Saturday night, firing 51 shots at Florida's Roberto Luongo. Unfortunately for
Tampa Bay, Luongo stopped 50 of them, and Olli Jokinen scored two third-period
goals to lift the Panthers to a 2-1 home victory.
The Lightning outshot the Panthers 51-15 and red-hot Martin St. Louis
answered Jokinen's first goal early in the third by scoring 49 seconds later.
But Jokinen added the winning score with 5:13 remaining, leaving Lightning
coach John Tortorella unhappy with his team's overall effort.
"A lot of good things happened out there, but to win games, everybody's got
to be there every night. That is what's frustrating," he said. "Some key guys
need to be there all the time and they made some big mistakes."
John Grahame had 13 saves for Tampa Bay, but allowed more than one goal for
the first time in five starts. The Lightning could have tied the team record of
six consecutive victories and set the franchise mark of five consecutive road
"We lose two points to a team we should beat," Tampa Bay captain Dave
Andreychuk said. "They move up in the standings and we don't. That's the
The victory pulled Florida to within seven points of Tampa Bay, which leads
the Southeast Division with 49 points. Second-place Atlanta is just three
points back after defeating Carolina 4-2 on Sunday.
St. Louis, who recorded a hat trick Thursday in a 5-4 victory over Carolina
and got his 19th goal of the season Saturday, has 18 points in his last 12
The Lightning will likely face another hot goaltender in Aebischer, who is
6-1-0-1 in his last eight games with a 1.62 goals-against average.
Aebischer, though, will be looking to get the Avalanche back on track after
he was outplayed by San Jose's Vesa Toskala in a 2-1 loss Saturday night.
Aebischer made 22 saves, but Toskala had 32 as the Avalanche had their
four-game winning streak snapped.
The Avs, 8-1-0-1 in their last 10 games, remained tied atop the Northwest
Division because Vancouver lost 2-1 to Anaheim.
Colorado played without Peter Forsberg, its most productive player the last
two weeks. The star center, who had 16 points in the previous eight games, was
a late scratch because of a groin injury.
"Peter tweaked his groin in the last game (Thursday night against
Dallas)," coach Tony Granato said. "He didn't skate Friday. During warmups
today he felt a little uncomfortable. There's no sense in taking a chance. I
don't know how long he'll be out."
Colorado is opening a four-game road trip.