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Tampa Bay Lightning Take on the Philadelphia Flyers in Eastern Conference Duel

February 5th, 2013 at 5:10 PM
By Kyle Alexander Abney

The Tampa Bay Lightning will face the Philadelphia Flyers tonight for the second time this season, this time on the road in Philadelphia as the Bolts open a 4-game road trip after a 5-game home stand.

After a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers at home on Friday night to finish up 4-1 on the home stand, the Lightning will look to regroup and improve their road play this year after finishing with a Conference-worst 13 road wins a season ago.

The Lightning easily handled the Flyers in a 5-1 victory on January 27, but Flyers starting net minder Ilya Bryzagalov had the night off in that game, and the Bolts attack victimized back-up goaltender Michael Leighton.

Bryzgalov, who sports an outstanding 2.40 GAA and .920 save percentage, will be between the pipes and stands a much better chance of withstanding the Lightning balanced attack.

 

Opposing him in net will be young Swedish goaltender Anders Lindback, who has been solid if not spectacular for the Bolts so far this season.

 

Head coach Guy Boucher mentioned when he made his final roster cuts at the start of the season that part of the reason why he kept Pierre-Cedric Labrie up on the big club was because his size and skill set helped make the Lightning a better road team.

While no official announcement has been made, I would expect Labrie to crack the line-up tonight against the Flyers, perhaps in Dana Tyrell's fourth line spot.

Alternating those two players in that fourth line wing spot allows Boucher to deploy either speed or grit depending on what the situation calls for.

While captain Vincent Lecavalier is still dealing with a bone bruise on his left foot after taking the full brunt of a Sami Salo slap shot on Friday night against the Rangers, he is still expected to play. We will see tonight how much the injury is hampering him or if Boucher plans to limit his minutes to protect him from further injury.

Tampa Bay is 1-2 against the Atlantic Division in 2013, with their lone win coming in that 5-1 victory at home over the Flyers.

The puck drops tonight at 7:30 EST. This is the first nationally televised game on the Bolts schedule; coverage on NBCSports Network also begins at 7:30 EST right after NHL Live.

Tags: Anders Lindback, Hockey, NHL, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Lightning

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