GAME: Tampa Bay Lightning (13-10-4-1) at Philadelphia Flyers (17-4-8-2).
TIME: Thursday, 7 p.m. EST.
Philadelphia bolstered its already imposing lineup with the addition of Mike
Comrie on Tuesday, but Tampa Bay doesn't have to worry about the Flyers' new
center just yet.
The Flyers will try to end their season-high four-game winless streak as
they welcome the slumping Lightning to the Wachovia Center.
Already tied for the Eastern Conference lead with the Toronto Maple Leafs,
the suddenly struggling Flyers got stronger up the middle by acquring Comrie, a
hold-out from the Edmonton Oilers, for former first-round pick Jeff Woywitka
and two draft picks.
However, the Flyers still need to work out a contract with the restricted
"This was an opportunity to get a player as good as Comrie and not take
anyone off our team," Flyers general manager Bob Clarke said. "We think
Woywitka is going to be a very good defenseman, but for us to get a highly
skilled center now and for the future, it was the right move."
In 69 games for the Oilers last season, Comrie had 20 goals and 31 assists.
Comrie has 61 goals and 133 points during his three-year career.
To make room for Comrie, the Flyers traded right wing Eric Chouinard to the
Minnesota Wild yesterday for a 2004 fifth-round draft pick.
The Flyers are 0-1-2-1 in their last four games, including a 3-2 overtime
loss to Calgary on Tuesday.
Tampa Bay's best chance at keeping the Flyers' skid going is stopping Simon
Gagne. The left wing has 12 points in 15 career games against the Lightning,
including three goals and three assists in four games last season.
"Tampa Bay, I like to play against," Gagne said after the teams' last
meeting in April.
The Lightning are mired in a season-high four-game losing streak after
falling to the Maple Leafs 3-0 on Tuesday.
Nikolai Khabibulin made 18 saves for the Lightning, who have won just two of
their last 12 games.
"Their big guys came through tonight, and our big guys didn't," winger
Martin St. Louis said.
Offensively, the Lightning have been shut down over their slide, being held
to three goals or fewer in each of their last 14 games.