Tocchet looks for first win as Lightning coach

Florida (6-9-1) at Tampa Bay (5-7-5), 7:30 pm EST

TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) — Rich Tocchet failed to make a good
first impression as the new coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Tocchet and the struggling Lightning look to snap a four-game
losing streak when the club hosts the Florida Panthers on

Tampa Bay dismissed Barry Melrose 16 games into the season
hoping Tocchet – an 18-year coaching veteran – could fix one of
the league’s floundering squads. Yet, with a loss in this game
the Lightning will find themselves at square one by matching
their season-opening, five-game skid (0-2-3).

They are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Carolina
Hurricanes on Sunday in Tocchet’s debut. Martin St. Louis
scored and captain Vincent Lecavalier ended a six-game goalless
streak, but Tampa Bay was not able to rebound from a 4-3
shortcoming against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.

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Prior to that contest, the Lightning were vanquished by the
Panthers, who used two goals by Gregory Campbell and tallies
from Nathan Horton and defenseman Bryan McCabe en route to
recording a 4-0 win on Tuesday.

Tocchet has inserted rookie Steven Stamkos to the Lecavalier-St.
Louis line.

The move could be a confidence builder for the top overall pick
in June’s draft, who has gone eight games without a point since
his two-goal night in Buffalo on October 30.

Florida had a two-game win streak snapped and failed to win
three in a row for the first time this season after the Red
Wings skated to a 3-2 win on Friday.