Tampa Bay Lightning (1-0-0) at Montreal Canadiens (1-1-0) – Wednesday,
October 13th, 2010
The Montreal Canadiens host their home opener tonight as the Tampa Bay
Lightning visit the Bell Centre. This game marks the first time that TB’s
new head coach, Guy Boucher, will return to Montreal after coaching the Habs’ AHL
affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, last year. Tampa Bay also boasts a
strong complement of French-Canadian players (Martin St. Louis, Vincent
Lecavalier, Simon Gagne), which will no doubt add to the
atmosphere as those players will look to step up their game in front of their
home crowd. The two teams split the season-series last season, both
earning a win and a loss at home. The Lighting won in their season debut, 5-3 over the Atlanta
Thrashers, in the only game that they’ve played this season. The Canadiens
have split their first two games, losing to the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-2, and
emerging victorious over the Pittsburgh Penguins by the same score.
It is unclear which of the two TB netminders will see time in the crease
tonight, as Mike Smith and Dan Ellis will likely split the starts for the
Lightning who are playing on back-to-back nights. Smith was in goal for the
Lightning’s first game, stopping 27 of 30 shots. Carey Price (1-1-0, 2.52
GAA, .919 SV%) is the likely starter for Montreal, having rested since his
exceptional 36-save performance versus the Penguins on this past Saturday. In his
career versus the Lightning, Price is 3-3-1 with a 2.36 GAA and .907 save
Steven Stamkos has picked up where he left off last season, and leads the
Lightning in goals and points. Fresh off of sharing Rocket Richard Trophy
honours, Stamkos tallied 2 goals and an assist in the Lightning’s season
Despite missing a game to suspension, Mike Cammalleri (2-0-2) leads all
Canadiens in goals, and is tied with Benoit Pouliot (0-2-2) and Jeff Halpern
(1-1-2) for the points lead. Scott Gomez (1-0-1) has tallied the lone
game-winning goal for the Canadiens.
The Andrei Markov-less Habs have yet to score with the man advantage, going 0
for 6 over 2 games. The Lightning showed no such problems in their lone
game, converting 2 of their 5 powerplay opportunities. Shorthanded, the
Canadiens have successfully killed off all of their penalties while the
Lightning boast a 83.3% efficiency rate on the PK.
Roman Hamrlik is slated to return from injury this evening, and was paired
with Ryan O’Byrne on Tuesday’s practice. Alexandre Picard was paired with
Markov, who isn’t game-ready yet, suggesting that the pair will watch the game
from the press box with Mathieu Darche. Mathias Ohlund (knee) is expected
to miss tonight’s game for Tampa Bay.
The game begins at 7:30 EST and can be seen on RDS (HD) and SUN (HD).
This preview was written by Matt