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Tampa Bay Lightning (0-1-0) at Chicago Blackhawks (1-0-0)

October 5th, 2013 at 1:12 PM
By Andrew McIntyre

The Chicago Blackhawks get ready for game two of their regular season as they play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight. The Blackhawks are coming off a 6-4 victory over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, while the Lightning lost their season opener 3-1 to the Boston Bruins. Both teams have plenty of fire power on offense so we could be in for another high scoring game. 

Here are some notes for tonight's game:

  • Forward Ben Smith will make his season debut for the Blackhawks. Smith will replace Jimmy Hayes on the third line.
  • Defenseman Michael Kostka will also be in the lineup tonight for the Blackhawks. He will fill in for Michal Rozsival who is listed as a healthy scratch.
  • The Blackhawks allowed three power play goals against the Capitals. Players will need to step up on the penalty killing unit against the Lightning offense.
  • Forward Tom Pyatt and defensemen Keith Aulie and Mark Barberio have been listed as the scratches tonight for the Lightning.
  • The Lightning have won the last three meetings between the teams, with the most recent coming in November 2011.

Battle Between The Pipes:

Chicago Blackhawks: Corey Crawford (1-0-0)

Crawford had an average outing in the season opener, but came up big in the late minutes to hold off the surging Capitals. Crawford will look to bounce back and limit the high octane Lightning offense.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Ben Bishop

Bishop will get his first start of the season tonight for the Lightning. Anders Lindback started in net in the team's season opener. Bishop will have his hands full against the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks.

Players To Watch:

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Jonathan Toews: 0 G, 1 A, 1 P

Toews will be lined up across from Stamkos. His efforts in the face off circle, as well as in the defensive end, could determine the outcome of this game.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Forward, Steven Stamkos: 0 G, 0 A, 0 P

Stamkos is a goal scoring machine, registering 29 goals in a shortened 2013 season. In 2011-2012, he led the league with 60 goals. After being held pointless in the opener, you can bet Stamkos will be ready to light the lamp tonight against the Blackhawks.

X Factor:

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Brandon Saad: 1 G, 2A, 3P

Saad led the way for the Blackhawks on Tuesday against the Capitals. After auditioning for the second line center role, Saad was moved back to his natural wing position on the third line and seemed to play inspired. Saad will look to continue on his early impressive performance.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Forward, Valtteri Filppula: 1 G, 0 A, 1 P

Filppula scored the Lightning's only goal in their season opener. The second line center spent the first eight years of his career with the Detroit Red Wings and is looking to impress his new team.

The game will start at 7 pm. CT.

Go Hawks!

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