Posted January 10, 2012 on AP on Fox
The Tampa Bay Lightning are surely glad to be home after a woeful three-game trip to Canada. Meanwhile, a visit to the Sunshine State has already cooled the Vancouver Canucks. The reigning Western Conference champions try to avoid a Florida sweep Tuesday night against Tampa Bay, while the Lightning will seek to bounce back at home against another opponent from north of the border. The Canucks (26-14-3) appear primed to make a second consecutive run to the Stanley Cup finals, with the most points in the West and a 17-5-2 record since Nov. 20. Vancouver even gained a measure of revenge for its finals loss with a 4-3 win Saturday in a rematch at Cup champion Boston, but stumbled Monday night with a 2-1 loss at Florida. Dale Weise scored the only goal for Vancouver, which couldn't take advantage of a 26-22 shots advantage and went 0 for 3 on the power play after a 4-for-11 effort with the man advantage against the Bruins. "I think we came out really strong, but if you're off three or four percent in a league like this, against a team that's surprising a lot of guys this year, you need to play well," captain Henrik Sedin said. The Lightning (17-20-3) are also looking to turn the page after getting outscored 14-5 while losing all three games of a trip to Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Tampa Bay, which fell 3-1 to the Canadiens on Saturday, will now look to win its fifth consecutive home game. The Lightning have played much better all season at Tampa Bay Times Forum, where they are 11-5-0 compared with 6-15-3 on the road. Steven Stamkos saw his five-game goal-scoring streak end in Saturday's loss, but the league leader with 28 may have a good chance to get back on track Tuesday. Stamkos has four goals and two assists in three career games against the Canucks, including two goals - including the overtime winner - and an assist in a 5-4 victory at Vancouver on Dec. 11, 2010. That was the Lightning's second straight win in the series. Vancouver hasn't won in Tampa since a 5-3 victory Nov. 29, 2002 - Daniel Sedin scored the game-winner - but has only visited twice since then. Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson has struggled mightily this season with a 6-9-1 record and 3.76 goals-against average, but he will start Tuesday seeking to build on his strong track record against Vancouver. Roloson, who has spent the majority of his career in the Western Conference, has 16 wins and five shutouts versus the Canucks - both his most against any opponent. Roloson has allowed three goals or more in each of his last eight appearances, though, and is winless since a 4-1 victory over Pittsburgh on Nov. 17. He yielded three goals on 23 shots in Thursday's 4-1 loss to the Senators, but still has the confidence of coach Guy Boucher. "I thought he did some good things in his last game in net," Boucher told the Lightning's official website. "He's had some terrific practices and (Monday) morning was probably his best practice of the year."
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