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Fresh off 100th goal, Stamkos leads Bolts vs. Isles

by Brian Compton /
LIGHTNING (19-10-4) at ISLANDERS (6-18-6)
Last 10:
Tampa Bay 6-2-2; New York 2-6-2
Season Series:
This is the third of four meetings between the teams. After earning a 3-2 overtime victory at the St. Pete Times Forum on Oct. 21, the Isles dropped a 4-2 decision at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Nov. 17.
Big Story: Rick DiPietro is injured again. Fourteen appearances into the 2010-11 season, DiPietro -- limited to a total of 13 games over the previous two campaigns -- is experiencing swelling in his right knee and hasn't skated since Saturday morning. He was placed on injured reserve Tuesday afternoon.
DiPietro -- who has 11 years remaining on his contract -- and Isles brass both insist they are simply being cautious, but given his history it's certainly something worth keeping an eye on.
Team Scope:
Lightning: Steven Stamkos reached a remarkable milestone Monday night, when he became just the sixth player in NHL history to score 100 goals before celebrating his 21st birthday. Stamkos and the Lightning also won their fourth straight game with a 5-1 victory against the Hurricanes at the St. Pete Times Forum.
"It's obviously nice to have that accomplishment," said Stamkos, who accomplished the feat at 20 years and 316 days old. "It wasn't really anything that was brought up or that I came into the game thinking about. As a team, we're on a good streak right now and I was just happy to chip in."
Islanders: New York was just 88 seconds away from winning back-to-back games for the first time in two months Saturday night, but couldn't hold on and ultimately dropped a 4-3 shootout decision to the Coyotes at the Coliseum. The Islanders shocked everyone by opting to start AHL journeyman Nathan Lawson rather than Dwayne Roloson, who enters Wednesday's action with just two appearances in 19 days.
"It affects everyone that doesn't play for a while," Roloson told Newsday. "You just do stuff in practice to simulate games, and I've been working with Sudsy (goaltending consultant Sudarshan Maharaj) and Mike (Dunham, goaltending coach) whenever they're here."
Who's Hot: Lightning forward Martin St. Louis has collected 6 points in the last two games to push him into third in the League scoring race (13 goals, 30 assists), four points behind Stamkos. In his last nine games, St. Louis has 5 goals and 9 assists. Ryan Malone also has points in nine of his last 10 games. … Isles forward Rob Schremp has 5 goals and 9 points in his last nine contests.
Injury Report:
Lightning forward Steve Downie is out indefinitely with a sprained ankle, while goalie Mike Smith is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a sprained knee. Malone is questionable after being pulled during the third period with an upper-body injury on Monday. … Besides DiPietro, the Islanders will be without Mark Streit (shoulder), Kyle Okposo (shoulder), Mark Eaton (groin), Doug Weight (back) and Trent Hunter (knee). The team also announced Tuesday that Mike Mottau needs hip surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
Stat Pack:
St. Louis picked up is 51st career game-winning goal when he scored during the first period against Carolina. He now leads the franchise in that department, passing Vincent Lecavalier. … The Islanders have been outscored in the third period in 28 consecutive games, a League record.
Puck Drop:
"Everyone knows he's a heart-and-soul guy. For me, everything starts with attitude, then it goes down to work ethic and then it's discipline. He's got all three." -- Lightning coach Guy Boucher on St. Louis

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