If they can manage a win tonight, it will mark the first pair of consecutive victories since wins over the Florida Panthers and Winnipeg Jets on January 29th and February 1st.
The surprising Maple Leafs are currently 3rd in the Northeast Division, 6th in the Eastern Conference, and on a 2-game winning streak despite being without goaltender James Reimer and instead have been riding a hot hand in net – Ben Scrivens.
The Bolts will look to be the first team to put a puck behind Scrivens in 124 minutes and 51 seconds of game time, as he is expected to get the start again tonight in Tampa Bay.
Ben Scrivens in the visitors net for optional skate in Tampa. No surprise, but he appears the starter tonight against Lightning.
— Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) February 19, 2013
Opposing him in net will be Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback, which comes as something of a surprise as he gave up 5 goals in the overtime win over Florida on Saturday. However, several of those goals were due to breakdowns defensively and not really the fault of Lindback.
Head coach Guy Boucher has repeatedly stated a desire to get Lindback more games between the net to help develop him at the NHL level, and tonight against the Maple Leafs is an opportunity to do just that. It also gives Lindback a chance to immediately redeem something of a clunker game where his offense helped to bail him out.
Also of note, Lightning defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron will appear in his fifth game tonight for the Bolts (his second straight), after figuring in on the game-winning goal in overtime against the Panthers after his one-time shot on a 3-on-2 rush caromed wide off the back boards and popped right to Benoit Pouliot's stick for the tap-in goal.
So, Lindback in net tonight vs Leafs. Bergeron gets a second straight game. Boucher says he will decide after warmups if he will go 6 or 7 D
— Damian Cristodero (@LightningTimes) February 19, 2013
The Bolts have an opportunity to gain two points on the idle Carolina Hurricanes tonight; if Carolina then loses on Thursday to the Jets, the Lightning draw into a tie for the Southeast Division lead with a head to head match-up looming on February 23rd.
Tonight, the puck drops at 7:30 PM EST.
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