NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, December 27th
(All times eastern)
Florida Panthers (16-13-5) at Tampa Bay Lightning (9-16-9), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning will shoot for a home-and-home
sweep as well as their third consecutive victory overall when they welcome the
Florida Panthers for a battle at St. Pete Times Forum.
The Lightning edged Florida in a shootout on Friday night in Sunrise to kick
off the home-and-home set. It was the second straight win for Tampa Bay, which
also earned a victory Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
Tampa had won back-to-back games on just one other occasion this season, when
it picked up three straight victories from October 28 to November 1. The Bolts
had lost three in a row and 12 of 13 games before winning their last two
Ryan Malone notched the game-winner in the fourth round of the shootout as
Tampa Bay blew a two-goal lead but topped Florida, 4-3, at BankAtlantic Center
After Lightning goalie Mike Smith foiled Stephen Weiss to open the fourth
round, Malone stuck a forehander to the stick side on Florida netminder Craig
Steve Eminger netted a goal and two assists for the Lightning. Mark Recchi and
Evgeni Artyukhin also tallied while Smith came up with 25 saves.
Keith Ballard, Cory Stillman and Bryan McCabe scored for the Panthers, who
have dropped three of five, but were coming off consecutive shutout victories.
Starter Tomas Vokoun allowed three goals on 27 shots through two periods.
Anderson stopped all eight shots he faced in the third period and overtime.
Vokoun had notched the back-to-back shutouts for Florida before getting solved
by the Lightning early in Friday's game.
Florida is 2-0-1 against the Lightning this year, winning a 4-0 home decision
on November 12 before posting a shootout victory in Tampa less than a week
later. Despite Friday's loss the Panthers have taken four of six in the series
and have won two of three in Tampa.
The Lightning are just 3-6-6 as the host team this year, while Florida is
8-9-2 on the road.
12/27 10:54:46 ET