GAME: Florida Panthers (12-16-8-2) at Tampa Bay Lightning (15-13-5-1).
TIME: Wednesday, 3 p.m. EST.
The Florida Panthers will try to snap a six-game road winless streak when
they visit the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning at the St. Pete Times Forum.
Florida squandered a two-goal, third-period lead in Monday's 4-4 tie with
the league-leading Toronto Maple Leafs. Despite the late meltdown, Panthers
coach and general manager Rick Dudley was not overly upset, especially since
three of Toronto's goals were swatted in the air, making it nearly impossible
for goaltender Roberto Luongo to stop them.
"I'm not going to be embarrassed about a tie with the Toronto Maple Leafs
right now," Dudley said. "They had a good third period. They're a hell of a
Luongo, who made 34 saves, was miffed by the Maple Leafs' good fortune
around the net.
"I've never seen anything like that," he said. "I think they got lucky."
Florida is 0-3-2-1 in its last six road games dating to a 3-2 win at
Washington on Nov. 22.
Frustration has also set in for the Lightning, who started the season as one
of the NHL's hottest teams, but have managed just four wins in their last 18
Tampa Bay went 0-for-7 on the power play en route to being shut out for the
sixth time this season in Monday's 2-0 home loss to Anaheim. Nikolai Khabibulin
made 23 saves for the Lightning, but fell to 1-6-1 in his last eight decisions.
"Obviously we're frustrated and disappointed," Lightning coach John
Tortorella said. "It's something we can't dwell on. We have to try and get
Monday marked Tampa Bay center Dave Andreychuk's 1,549th career game, tying
him for seventh place on the all-time NHL list with Alex Delvecchio.