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07 March 2007

Lightning Gamenight

The Tampa Bay Lightning will look to rebound this evening when they take on the Edmonton Oilers at 10PM eastern. They are in the mist of a season long six game road trip and have fallen two points behind the idle Atlanta Thrashers in the highly contested Southeast division race.

The Lightning have put together back to back sloppy efforts in losses to the Florida Panthers and Vancouver Canucks. They had a season low 16 shots on Roberto Luongo in their previous loss, and did very little to get any kind of pressure on him. The Lightning need to get back to playing Lightning hockey, where they dictate the pace to the opponent, and forcheck and skate hard for 60 minutes. That is where this team is built for success.

Expect for Marc Denis to get the start in net over Johan Holmqvist, who appears to be in a bit of a slump. His last 2 games have not been anything to write home about. He has had some very stoppable shots get by him, and that has appeared to deflate the team and get them off their game in the past 2.

To say this is an important game for the Lightning is an understatement. After tonight, they are off until Saturday, when they go into Calgary. That, in my opinion, is not a great situation for this team to be going into. That team, and their fans, have waited 3 years for a shot at the Lightning. This team can not afford to let Atlanta get too far ahead of them with so few games left this year.

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