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Looking at the schedule, the NHL schedule-makers seem to like to give the Lightning a lot of back to back road games this time of the year. Tonight is the first of another road back-to-back game, tonight the Islanders, tomorrow the Flyers

Enemy Blog: Head over to Islanders Hockey Blog for your opposition blog coverage

This is the second game out of the four that we'll play against the Islanders. Last game the Islanders won in overtime 3-2 at the St. Pete Times Forum. Since then, the Islanders haven't won in a month, are on a 10 game losing streak and have fired their coach Scott Gordon. Jack Capuano has been named interim head coach and tonight will be his first game as head coach of the Islanders.

The Lightning had some encouraging news as Simon Gagne has been practising with the team as of yesterday, albeit with a red jersey on. According to Cristodero's blog, after extensive testing the team was able to narrow down his ailment to being a muscle and nerve inflammation in the back of his neck, which constricted blood flow to the head, thus the blurry vision he's been having. He's not up with the team on this roadtrip and there is still no timetable for his return, but news of progress is good.

Against a team that has lost the last 10 games straight, the Lightning need a win tonight. It really is as simple as that.

Watch PAR-TAY:

There is a watch party going on tonight (the first of three), and tonight's location will be at the Outback Steakhouse. Full info for the event can be found here on the Lightning website, and you can RSVP via Facebook.

If you are deciding on which one to hit up, personal opinion (not that I live in Tampa) is to hold out for tomorrow's game or Saturday game. It's at a sports bar tomorrow and the Flyers game would be a more interesting game to catch, and Saturday you can watch it outside at a park (even if you have to watch the Sabres). If you go to any of them and want to share your experience, hit me up via email.

Line-up Notes:

  • Dan Ellis is starting in net
  • Simon Gagne and Vincent Lecavalier are out with injury

Your pre-game reading links:

Game time: 7:00pm EST on SUN (HD)