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Record: Lightning (23-23-5) Kings (25-18-10)
Previous games: None, this is the only game this season between the teams
Game time: 7:30pm on NBCSP (HD), TSN2

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Quick tries to look serious or maybe sultry. Neither work when you look 12

I'm not sure what is happening with the Lightning right now. They look like they are out of it and then out of nowhere they just start winning. WTF?

I keep being asked if I think the Lightning will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. I'm thinking sellers, but the team has been putting together wins to just screw with Yzerman a little. The issue with the Lightning going into the trade deadline is that they don't have reliable goaltending. I sound like a broken record on this goaltending front. Garon has won the starting position over Roloson, yes, but is he the guy you want to go with down the stretch? And if you want someone better, *cough* Schneider *cough* Bernier, *cough* Harding, then you need to give up a good, possibly young, player with a good upside. Also, would either Gillis or Lombardi trade them away at the deadline? I just don't see it happening. How much confidence do you have in this group for a run in the post season even if the team had a more reliable goaltender?

Continue reading the game preview...
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The Kings are a curious group. They have been bouncing around the bottom part of the Western Conference playoff group, currently sitting in 7th with 60 points. They probably could be doing better too, but they just can't score if their playoff lives depended on it. Over the last 10 games they have scored just 21 goals. The Lightning average 2.84 goals per game (8th in the NHL) whilst the Kings are in 30th with 2.09.

My blogger buddy TRH in fact looked at their trade history and showed that since Wayne Gretzky only 2 players showed an increase in Points Per Game from their prior team out of 16 "big moves" that the Kings made.

It's gotten to the point that Mike Richards is hoping a new stick will help:

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But what helps them is their goals against has them in 3rd at 2.08 whilst the Lightning are in 30th at 3.33

It's a like the tale of the two opposite teams. Maybe I should rethink how good the Lightning could be with better goaltending...

Go bolts

Line-up Notes:

Kings injuries: Simon Gagne (is he ever not injured?)

Lightning injuries: Adam Hall, Ryan Malone, JT Wyman, Mattias Ohlund, Dana Tyrell, Marc-Andre Bergeron

Evan Oberg has been called up

Links:
Official Lightning preview