Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 1/29/13
Game time: 7:30 p.m. ETTV: Sun SportsFOX Sports Florida The high-scoring Tampa Bay Lightning are unbeaten at home and full of confidence. The low-scoring Florida Panthers have been abysmal in four straight defeats, although they are getting some badly needed help. These Southeast Division rivals meet for the first time Tuesday night, with the visiting Panthers expecting Kris Versteeg to make his season debut. Florida (1-4-0) won the division a season ago and Tampa Bay (4-1-0) finished 10 points back in third, but they are on opposite ends of it now. Tampa Bay cruised to a 5-1 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday. Martin St. Louis contributed four assists and Steven Stamkos took his season total to 10 points with a goal and an assist. The Lightning are the highest scoring team in the NHL at 4.8 goals per game. "When you get a little confidence going, as our offensive players have right now, you try to run with it," Stamkos said. "We know, once we get on a roll, we're a tough team to beat." The Panthers celebrated their first division title banner in style in their opener, a 5-1 victory over Carolina on Jan. 19 that featured a four-goal first period. Florida has totaled four goals over its next 14 periods, and has been outscored 18-3 in this losing streak. The Panthers will now try to avoid losing five straight in regulation for the first time since Feb. 1-11, 2010, after Saturday's 7-1 home defeat to the Flyers. "I hate referring to last season but that's our standard right now," defenseman Mike Weaver said. "We've got to be better than that, we've got to build off that and we haven't done that." There is good news for the Panthers on Versteeg, their third-leading scorer last season with 54 points. The winger has been out with a groin injury. "I'm excited to get him back," coach Kevin Dineen told the Panthers' official Twitter account. "He's a large part of our lineup." It's not clear whether linemate Stephen Weiss will miss a third straight game with a lower-body injury. The projected top line of Versteeg, Weiss and Tomas Fleischmann has four points. That doesn't come close to matching St. Louis, Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier, who have combined for 27 with eight goals this season. That trio combined for 23 points in the 2011-12 season series, as Tampa Bay went 4-1-1. Versteeg, Weiss and Fleischmann combined for 16 in those games. Eight skaters have multiple goals for the Lightning, who are 3-0 at home. "We're spreading the offense pretty good right now," Stamkos said. "We're not forcing things to certain players. We're making the right play." This will likely be Anders Lindback's first start against the Panthers with the Lightning and second overall. He recorded his first career shutout with 22 saves in Nashville's 3-0 win over on Florida on Dec. 11, 2010. Struggling Florida goalie Jose Theodore has gone 5-0-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average in his last five starts in Tampa.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Draymond Green ensemble at NBA Awards must be seen to believe

Victor Oladipo gets schooled by young boy at basketball camp

John Wall trying to recruit Paul George to join Wizards

Report: Saints looking at ways to recoup guaranteed money owed to Nick Fairley

Martellus Bennett thinks Rodgers is better than Brady?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fairley expected to miss 2017 season due to heart condition

Cousins could get more than $30 million per year in free agency?

Charlie Sheen puts Babe Ruth trade contract, World Series ring up for auction

Miguel Tejada's home burglarized, suspect arrested

Report: Nationals players privately grumbling about bullpen woes

Dwight Howard responds to those who think he's washed up

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker