Saturday, November 7, 2009

Canadiens Hope to Silence Tampa’s Thunder

image Vincent Lecavalier, Alex Tanguay and Matthias Ohlund hope to get a “charge” to to their season when the face the Canadiens on Saturday. – photo: Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning (5-4-5) will be looking to make some noise when they face the Montreal Canadiens (8-8-0) Saturday night at the Bell Centre.

The Lightning are on a four game road trip, that has seen them go 1-1-1 thus far, after an overtime loss on Thursday night to the Ottawa Senators.

Saturday’s game also marks another return to Montreal for local boys Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier, and will also be the first game back in Montreal for Alex Tanguay.

Tanguay was left as an unrestricted free agent the Canadiens, this past summer, after racking up 41 points in 50 games for the Bleu-Blanc et Rouge last season.

After 14 games this season, the Ste. Justine native has seven points (2 goals, 5 assists), and six points in his last six games.

Lecavalier, speculation of many a trade rumor to Montreal, has 2 goals and 10 assists in fourteen games.

The 29-year-old has been criticized by many as to having a slow start to the season since his eleven-year contract extension kicked in on July 1. That contract pays him $10 million a season over the next seven years.

The hot hand for the Lightning is 2008 first-round pick Steve Stamkos.

After a great second half in 2008-09, the Markham, ON native leads his team in scoring with 17 points(12 goals) and is tied for the league lead in power play goals with six.

2009 first-round pick Victor Hedman is listed as day-to-day, with an upper body injury suffered on Thursday, and will not play Saturday night.

"I don't want to risk anything," Hedman said Friday. "It's day to day. There's still a lot of games left in the season, so I'm not going to play."

Fellow blueliner Paul Ranger has left the team for personal reasons and Matthias Ohlund missed Friday’s practice for a therapy day but will start on Saturday.

Anterro Niittymaki will get the start in goal for the Lightning, and is 1-0-2 with a 1.60 GAA and .950 SvPct in his last four games.

The Finnish netminder is is 3-1-2 with a 2.09 GAA on the season, but only 1-8-1 with a 3.53 in ten career games against the Canadiens.

Mike Cammalleri and Tomas Plekanec lead the Canadiens’ offensive attack with 14 points each.

Carey Price, who came off a confidence building 2-1 win on Thursday against Boston, will make his second straight start.

The injury-riddled Canadiens defence showed some support for their goaltender on Thursday night, and gained some reinforcement and positive news on Friday.

Jay Roach was picked up off waivers, from New Jersey, but will not play on Saturday.

Defenseman Ryan O’Byrne has started skating on his own Friday, and should be back in a couple weeks.

After a great first-career-game on Thursday, Tom Pyatt and Ryan White will both see action again on Saturday which leaves Kyle Chipchura and Gregory Stewart as healthy scratches.

The Canadiens and Lightning split their four games in 2008-09 with both Montreal wins coming in overtime and a shootout.

Gametime is 7pm at the Bell Centre and will be telecast on CBC and RDS in Canada and on SUN in the U.S.

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