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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, October 17th (All times Eastern)
Minnesota Wild (3-2-2) at Tampa Bay Lightning (4-2-0), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Martin St. Louis reached a milestone with Tampa Bay in their most recent victory, but was left limping by game's end.
The Lightning could be without their captain on Thursday night when they resume their homestand against the Minnesota Wild.
St. Louis logged three points in Tuesday's 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings, scoring once while adding two assists. He surpassed 900 career points with the Lightning franchise and is second in the NHL this season with 10 points.
The 38-year-old, though, blocked a shot in the third period and though he finished the game, St. Louis did not practice on Wednesday and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
"From all indications, it is nothing that is alarmingly serious. But I don't know," said Bolts head coach Jon Cooper.
Tampa Bay did recall forward Brett Connolly, the sixth overall pick of the 2010 draft, from Syracuse of the American Hockey League yesterday.
Should St. Louis be unable to play, the Lightning will try to keep up their recent scoring surge that has seen them pot 16 goals over the past three games. Ryan Malone scored 19 seconds into Tuesday's win, while Teddy Purcell and Ondrej Palat also had goals.
Ben Bishop improved to 4-0-0 this season after making 30 saves. He has a 1.71 goals against average and .939 save percentage in his four starts.
"I thought our team played real well," Bishop said. "We blocked shots. We kind of talked about that before the game, getting in front of the lanes a little bit more. I thought some big blocks were made in the second."
The Lightning improved to 2-1-0 on their seven-game homestand and have won four of six to start the season.
Bishop has never faced the Wild, while Anders Lindback is 1-0 against them in two games, stopping 37-of-40 shots faced. Lindback has lost both of his starts this season, posting a 4.07 GAA. It is unknown which of the two will start tonight.
The Wild play the third contest of a four-game road trip and had a three-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday with a 4-1 setback to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Jason Pominville scored Minnesota's lone goal as the club lost its second game in regulation this year despite outshooting Toronto 38-14.
"We can't dwell on it," said Wild head coach Mike Yeo. "When you're getting chances, you're doing good things. When you're doing good things, you'll get rewarded."
With Niklas Backstrom out with a strained knee and Josh Harding having started the previous night's win in Buffalo, Darcy Kuemper made his seventh career NHL appearance. However, he was chased after 32 minutes of action having yielded three goals on seven shots faced.
Harding stopped all six shots he faced in relief and is likely to make his first ever appearance versus the Lightning tonight. There is a chance that Backstrom, who is back practicing, could return as the backup.
Defenseman Keith Ballard is questionable to return to action after sitting out Tuesday's game. He had taken a puck to the face in Monday's win.
The Wild have won five of their last seven against the Lightning both overall and in Tampa. The clubs last met on Nov. 28, 2011 in Minnesota, a 3-1 Wild victory.
10/17 10:40:45 ET
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