NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, February 12th
(All times eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (26-22-7) at Tampa Bay Lightning (33-17-5), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Lightning have done a lot of things right during their
12-game homestand, but their most recent setback didn't feature many of them.
Tampa Bay will look to rebound tonight and avoid consecutive losses for the
first time in nearly a month as they host the struggling Carolina Hurricanes
at St. Pete Times Forum.
The Lightning won four of the first five games of this franchise-record
homestand and were 12-3-0 in their last 15 as the host heading into Tuesday's
meeting with the Sabres. Tampa Bay, though, yielded six straight goals in a
7-4 setback to Buffalo for its second loss in three contests following a six-
game winning streak.
Dwayne Roloson had his roughest outing since being acquired from the Islanders
on New Year's Day, yielding all seven goals on 28 shots to match a career high
for the second time this season. He also gave up seven goals in a game with
the Islanders on Dec. 27.
"It's really frustrating," Roloson said. "Unfortunately, we played well enough
the first two periods to win a hockey game. In the third, we just didn't play
our game defensively, from myself out."
Roloson may get the chance to rebound tonight against the Hurricanes, who he
is 4-5-0 versus with a 2.69 goals-against average.
Vincent Lecavalier and Sean Bergenheim both scored twice for the Lightning,
who haven't lost consecutive games since Jan. 14-15.
Tampa Bay still leads Washington by three points for first place in the
Southeast Division, but did suffer a pair of injuries versus the Sabres.
Forward Ryan Malone returned from a five-game absence, but suffered an
abdominal injury that will put him back on the sidelines, along with center
Nate Thompson (concussion).
Defenseman Matt Smaby, meanwhile, is questionable with a groin injury suffered
Carolina will try to take advantage of wounded Tampa Bay and avoid a fifth
loss in six games. The Hurricanes are 0-2 so far on a five-game road trip,
losing 2-1 in Philadelphia on Thursday.
Cam Ward made 23 saves and both goals he allowed came while down a man in the
third period. Tuomo Ruutu scored Carolina's lone goal 40 seconds after the
Flyers took a 2-0 lead.
"I thought we played a pretty good game here tonight," said Carolina head
coach Paul Maurice. "But, we need to stay out of the penalty box, especially
in the third period if we want to win games."
The Hurricanes currently sit ninth overall in the Eastern Conference, a point
back of the Thrashers, and have lost three straight and six of their last
seven on the road.
Blueliner Joni Pitkanen missed Thursday's game with a lower-body injury and
is questionable for tonight.
Ward is 15-9-1 with a 2.83 GAA in his career versus the Lightning and has won
nine of his last 11 outings against them.
These two clubs have split a pair of meetings this year, with each team
winning once at home. The Hurricanes' 6-4 home win on Jan. 15 was their 11th
victory in the past 15 meetings, but they have dropped three of four and seven
of the past 12 in Tampa. That includes a 5-1 setback there on Dec. 20.
02/12 10:42:52 ET