NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, December 2nd (All times eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (6-10-7) at Philadelphia Flyers (11-7-5), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to put a tumultuous month of November behind them when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers tonight at the Wachovia Center in the first December outing for both clubs.
The Lightning went just 3-7-4 last month and fired head coach Barry Melrose on November 14. Rick Tocchet replaced Melrose in an interim capacity and has led Tampa to a 1-3-3 record in his first seven games as an NHL head coach.
Tocchet will try to get his second NHL win against his former club, as he was drafted by Philadelphia in 1983 and played parts of 11 seasons with the Flyers.
The Lightning are in the midst of a four-game losing streak and have dropped the last two tests at the start a road trip that ends tonight.
Tampa's latest setback came Saturday in Colorado as Wojtek Wolski netted a pair of goals to help lift the Avalanche to a 4-3 decision at the Pepsi Center.
Olaf Kolzig started in net for the Lightning and was pulled after allowing three goals on 10 shots through the first 20 minutes. Mike Smith filled in valiantly, allowing one goal on 21 shots over the final two periods.
Vincent Lecavalier, Ryan Malone and Steven Stamkos tallied a goal and one assist each for the Lightning, who have recorded just one point in their last four games. That point came in a shootout loss to the New York Rangers last Wednesday.
Lecavalier comes into this evening's test riding a seven-game point streak, while Malone has recorded a point in five straight outings.
The Lightning are just 3-6-2 as the visiting team this year and have lost five straight road tests. After tonight, Tampa will return home for a mini two-game stand against Boston and Buffalo.
The Flyers had won a season-high six straight games recently, but have since been dealt back-to-back losses.
Philadelphia dropped the home portion of a home-and-home series against Carolina in overtime on Friday and was defeated in regulation the next night in Toronto. Nik Antropov registered a goal and an assist as the Maple Leafs topped Philadelphia, 4-2, at Air Canada Centre.
Mike Richards tallied twice for the Flyers, while Martin Biron dropped his second game in as many days, allowing four goals on 27 shots.
Beginning with tonight's test, the Flyers are playing two straight and six of their next seven games on home ice. The team is just 5-4-2 in the City of Brotherly Love this year, but had won three in a row as the host before losing to the Hurricanes on Friday.
The Lightning have already defeated the Flyers in Philadelphia this season, taking the first of four meetings between the clubs by a 2-1 score in regulation. Overall, Tampa has won two of three and 14 of the last 17 encounters between the clubs and the Bolts have won nine of 10 in the City of Brotherly Love.
12/02 10:46:24 ET