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Game Thread: Habs visit Lightning

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The Canadiens visit the Tampa Bay Lightning for their first meeting of the 2011-12 season. The two teams will see more of each other in the future, when they become division rivals.

The Lightning, with a cast of former Habs players, "dream players" and "the dream coach", have been struggling even worse than the Canadiens of late and sit a pair of games under .500.

Tampa's power play sits at 14.6%, not much better than Montreal's, while their penalty kill is a middle of the pack 81.2%. The loss of Mattias Ohlund, out all of the season thus far (knees), is a major impact on the Lightning's penalty kill concerns.

In the meantime, their top offensive players are picking up the pace for a potential turnaround. Martin St. Louis has a five-game point streak (3-3-6), Vincent Lecavalier has six points in seven games and Steven Stamkos has nine points in his last six games.

Mathieu Garon gets the start in goal for the Lightning, and is coming off a 31-save win over the Flyers, Tuesday night. He is 1-2-0 (2.69, .910) in his career against his former team.

The Canadiens haven't announced any changes in their lineup, so Chris Campoli and Yannick Weber will be healthy scratches.

Top-10 signs the Habs are in Florida from Rick Keene.

MONTREAL CANADIENS PROJECTED LINEUP

Forwards

Travis Moen - Tomas Plekanec - Andrei Kostitsyn

Max Pacioretty - Lars Eller - Erik Cole

Louis Leblanc - David Desharnais - Mike Cammalleri

Mike Blunden - Petteri Nokelainen - Mathieu Darche

Defense Pairings

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban

Raphael Diaz - Hal Gill

Tomas Kaberle - Alexei Emelin

Goalies

Carey Price - Peter Budaj

Tampapreview_medium

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING PROJECTED LINEUP

Forwards

Ryan Malone - Steven Stamkos - Steve Downie

Martin St. Louis - Vincent Lecavalier - Teddy Purcell

Tom Pyatt - Dominic Moore - Adam Hall

J.T. Wyman - Blair Jones - Dana Tyrell

Defense Pairings

Matt Gilroy - Eric Brewer

Pavel Kubina - Brett Clark

Bruno Gervais - Marc-Andre Bergeron

Goalies

Mathieu Garon - Dwayne Roloson

Canadiens vs Lightning coverage

Lightning talk from our awesome SBN partners at Raw Charge