Notes from Nassau
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- With the Lightning still searching for its first road win of the season here at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Tampa Bay has made a slight adjustment to its lineup for tonight's game against the Islanders.
Forward Andreas Karlsson will play for the in his first game of the season -- He's been scratched for the season's first 11 games -- on Chris Gratton's third line, taking the place of Mathieu Darche.
Karlsson came off the ice with the rest of the players in the lineup this morning, while Darche had an extended practice with the injured players and healthy scratches. That's the routine Karlsson's grown used to, practicing while the rest of his teammates were boarding buses, but he's worked very hard for this opportunity, and sooner or later, he was going to get it.
Other than that, not many changes. Head coach John Tortorella said Dan Boyle could play 30 minutes tonight and he said he has no plans to scratch struggling defenseman Brad Lukowich (An unprovoked comment, which leads on to believe the thought crossed his mind).
With it being the back end of back-to-back games, Marc Denis will start in goal tonight, making his second start of the season.
Just to give readers an idea of how tough this trip's been for the Lightning. Not only was it winless for the first two games. It's obvious that the team is pressing. According to Tortorella, they've had just 10 scoring chances the past two games. Special teams have been weak. And the Devils scored four of their six goals on the rush, not a ringing endorsement for the defense.
And to add to the Lightning's frustration, after dodging all the puddles in outside their dressing room before two water pipes were leaking at the new Prudential Center, Tampa Bay was looking forward to a quick trip to Long Island and an early night, but it took them two hours, seven minutes to get to their hotel with the team bus stopped dead in traffic at least three times.
I think they're looking forward to getting home.