Series (Game 1 of 1)

Tampa Bay leads 1-0

Game 1: Friday, December 18th

Lightning 6

(12-14-9, 33 pts)

Blues 3

(14-14-5, 33 pts)

8:00 PM ET, December 18, 2009

Scottrade Center, Saint Louis, Missouri

1 2 3 T
TB 1 2 36
STL 1 0 23

J. Halpern (Lightning - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

A. Tanguay (Lightning - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

T. Oshie (Blues - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Lightning-Blues Preview


Shutout losses have the St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning both reeling. In the case of the Lightning, it's part of a disappointing pattern.

The struggling teams will try to get their offenses untracked Friday night at Scottrade Center when the Blues look to hand the Lightning a seventh straight loss.

St. Louis (14-13-5) fell 3-0 at Chicago on Wednesday, and Tampa Bay (11-14-9) fell 3-0 at Detroit on Thursday. The Blues have totaled eight goals while losing three of their last five.

The Lightning have been even worse, with seven goals and three shutouts during their six-game losing streak. They came up empty on their 30 shots against the Red Wings.

"If we continue to make those kind of mistakes, we don't have a chance (to make the playoffs)," said goaltender Mike Smith, who made 19 saves in a losing effort. "We don't have a good enough team to make those mistakes."

Tampa Bay hasn't received much lately from its two leading goal scorers. Steven Stamkos has a team-high 18 goals, but only one in his last 10 games. Ryan Malone, who has 16 on the season, has scored once in his last 12 contests.

Antero Niittymaki could be back in net for Tampa Bay after starting the first three games of this season-high six-game road trip. Niittymaki is 0-4-1 with a 3.23 goals-against average in his last six starts.

Defenseman Victor Hedman didn't play Thursday because of a foot injury and right wing Steve Downie was out because of an upper-body injury for Tampa Bay. Their status for Friday is unknown.

The Blues are 6-10-2 at home, with the 10 regulation losses the most in the NHL. They're returning home after seeing their three-game road win streak snapped Wednesday.

St. Louis allowed 21 shots in the first period to the Blackhawks, fell behind 2-0 and never recovered.

"They play fast, they play together and they support the puck," forward David Backes said of Chicago. "When you play a team like that with the effort they put in, you need to match it up."

Backes had three goals over his previous two games, but reverted to the form that saw him score four times in his first 29 contests. Top scorer David Perron has nine goals, but none in 12 games since Nov. 21.

"It was a case of not having enough of the guys we need to be good being good tonight," coach Andy Murray said after Wednesday' loss.

Tampa Bay ended a 10-game slide at Scottrade Center with a 5-4 victory Feb. 5, 2008, when Martin St. Louis had a goal and two assists.

The Blues took last season's matchup, 4-3 in overtime at Tampa Bay on March 6, when Brad Boyes scored the game-winner. St. Louis had a goal and an assist to extend his point streak against the Blues to five games.