NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, April 11th (All times eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (24-39-18) at Atlanta Thrashers (34-41-6), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of 2008-09's top rookies will clash tonight, as Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning wrap their season against Zach Bogosian's Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena.
The Lightning are going to miss the postseason for the second straight season, but with just 66 points -- more than only the New York Islanders and their 61 points -- have another shot at the top overall pick in the up coming draft.
Tampa selected first overall in the 2008 draft and took Stamkos. The freshman skater rewarded the club with 45 points this year and his goal in Thursday's 4-2 loss to Washington was his 22nd of the season. That set a new club single- season rookie record that was held by Brad Richards.
Matt Pettinger also scored for the Lightning, have lost eight straight and 11 of their last 12. The club is one loss shy of the season-high nine straight it dropped from November 23-December 10.
Karri Ramo stopped 29-of-32 shots for Tampa Bay, which began the season with Barry Melrose as head coach only to replace him after a 5-7-4 start. He was replaced by Rick Tocchet.
Losers of five straight on the road, the Lightning are 12-21-7 as the visiting team this year.
Atlanta selected two places after Tampa Bay in the most recent draft, taking defenseman Bogosian third overall. He has also shown growth this year, posting nine goals and 18 points in 46 games. Bogosian scored twice in Thursday's 3-2 setback versus Florida.
Johan Hedberg stopped 28-of-31 shots in the defeat, Atlanta's third in a row. That includes a loss in the first two games of a season-ending three-game homestand. The Thrashers, who will miss the playoffs for the eighth time in the franchise's nine seasons, are 17-21-2 as the host this season.
Atlanta has won three of five versus Tampa Bay this season as well as nine of the last 11 meetings overall. The Lightning did snap a six-game series road losing streak with a victory at Philips Arena on January 4.
04/11 11:10:38 ET