Lightning look for redemption Tuesday against Bruins; Ellis in net
Though the Lightning is riding some confidence right now - thanks to a 6-0-2 stretch - coach Guy Boucher made sure to remind them this morning (a few times, at least) about how it played the last time against Boston, which Tampa Bay hosts Tuesday night.
On Dec. 2, the Bruins whipped the Lightning 8-1.
"We were put to shame that game," Boucher said. "Obviously, we want to do better this game than the game we played there. It was tough, we were missing alot of players, but still. It was a tough situation, and we need to do better tommorow."
You can obviously make the case the Lightning is a different team since then, and they have C Vinny Lecavalier back, who has been playing well. Tampa Bay will also hope for a better goaltending performance, and Dan Ellis will get another start, having stepped up the past week in winning three of his last four starts.
"I think he found his positioning in his net," Boucher said. "Far enough to challenge but close enough to (recover). He did great on some of the rebounds he got in the last game. I thought he did well on the first shot .. He’s been really good. He's been real solid. And the whole team is benefiting from it, for sure."
Problem is, the Bruins boast arguably the best goaltender in the league in Tim Thomas, who has a 1.67 goals against average and .949 save percentage.
Other notes from the morning practice: D Randy Jones (upper body) didn't practice, and Boucher said he probably won't play Tuesday, having been injured on a hit in Sunday's game....RW Marty St. Louis got a much-deserved day off for body recovery, having battled the flu over the weekend before picking up two assists Sunday (and getting 11 stitches around his left eye). He should be good to go for Tuesday....Steve Downie (high ankle sprain) has skated three times since his Dec. 2 injury, including yesterday, making progress toward a return (but hasn't practiced or skated with team yet).....The Lightning did a lot of work on the power play today, with Boucher saying they were a little 'soft' Sunday. They haven't had a lot of time to practice it, and with teams being more disciplined to avoid the second-ranked unit, Boucher felt they needed the work...
-- JOE SMITH