Final OT

Series (Game 1 of 1)

Tampa Bay leads 1-0

Game 1: Sunday, February 6th

Blues 3

(23-20-8, 54 pts)

Lightning 4

(33-16-5, 71 pts)

Coverage: NBC

3:00 PM ET, February 6, 2011

Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida

1 2 3 OT T
STL 0 3 0 03
TB 1 2 0 14

S. Stamkos (Lightning - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 3

S. Downie (Lightning - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

D. Backes (Blues - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Blues-Lightning Preview


The St. Louis Blues got a little healthier at one end of the ice while snapping a four-game slide, and Ty Conklin filled in admirably at the other end for an injured Jaroslav Halak.

The Blues might need Conklin's help again Sunday against the host Tampa Bay Lightning, who will try to bounce back from the end of their six-game winning streak.

A winter storm postponed St. Louis' scheduled return from the All-Star break Tuesday and the Blues responded well after eight days off with a 5-3 home win over Edmonton on Friday night.

After missing 24 games with a concussion, Andy McDonald helped put St. Louis (23-20-7) ahead for good by assisting on Alex Pietrangelo's first-period goal.

"I thought Andy had a real solid night for the first game back," coach Davis Payne said. "It's not easy to do, to jump back and play at that level."

Conklin stopped 29 shots in his first win since Dec. 28, getting the start after Halak was ruled out with an upper-body injury.

"I prepared like I was going to play," Conklin said. "It's everyone's job to be ready."

Payne said Halak's injury wasn't serious but wouldn't provide any further details. That leaves his status unknown against the Southeast Division-leading Lightning (32-16-5).

The Blues could use better goaltending after giving up a combined 12 goals in three consecutive road losses, one shy of matching their season high from Nov. 10-17.

The Lightning, meanwhile, are hoping to get a better performance in net after a 5-2 home loss to Washington on Friday night. Dwayne Roloson yielded four of those goals after recording consecutive shutouts.

With Roloson's help, Tampa Bay had allowed six goals in its season-high six consecutive victories and three during its four straight home wins.

"There was absolutely no urgency in our game," coach Guy Boucher said. "When you waste an entire period and a half, you don't want to win those games. You push in the third period out of respect for fans who paid for the tickets, but we lacked respect for our fans in the first period. That's not going to happen on Sunday."

It was the Blues' defense that had more trouble in last season's meeting, a 6-3 home loss. Steven Stamkos had two of Tampa Bay's five goals over the final two periods.

Stamkos, the NHL's leading goal-scorer with 39, also had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Blues at the St. Pete Times Forum on March 6, 2009. McDonald had a goal and three assists in that win, and Brad Boyes had the overtime winner and two assists.

Lightning forward Martin St. Louis has scored in four straight games against the Blues and has five assists over that span. Teammate Teddy Purcell enters with nine points (four goals, five assists) in his last four games overall, but has just one assist in five career matchups with the Blues.

Conklin has a 2.00 goals-against average while splitting two matchups with Tampa Bay, while Halak is also 1-1-0 but with a 3.04 GAA.

Roloson is 8-3-1 with two ties and a 1.47 GAA in his last 14 starts against the Blues.

Tampa Bay has earned at least one point in the last six meetings, going 3-0-2 with a tie.