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Callahan expects ‘bite’ in Lightning’s game vs. Wild

Tampa Bay Lightning v Minnesota Wild

ST. PAUL, MN - OCTOBER 25: Jason Zucker #16 of the Minnesota Wild celebrates after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the game on October 25, 2014 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

It happened almost one month ago, but the Tampa Bay Lightning definitely sound like they still have revenge in mind against the Minnesota Wild.

Back on Oct. 25, the Wild pummeled the Lightning by a score of 7-2. Evgeni Nabokov was chased from their net in less than one period. Jason Zucker scored two goals. Steve Stamkos went without a point. It was generally an ugly night.

That beating stood out for more than just the lopsided score, as it was Tampa Bay’s only loss in a nine-game span. Maybe that’s why Ryan Callahan told the Tampa Bay Times that they’ll have show some attitude tonight.

“We should have a little bite in our game coming into that one,” Callahan said. “They embarrassed us pretty good in their building. So coming off that and our last two performances, there should be enough fire in where we should be going (tonight).”

Indeed, their play in the last two games might be bigger motivation than the beating the Wild gave them in October. The Lightning are currently on a two-game losing streak, with both contests being decided by 5-2 scores.

Meanwhile, the Wild are starting to pick things up again, as they’ve won four games in a row.

The Lightning have a chance to prove a point as they play three straight games at home and seven of their next nine in Tampa Bay.

“It’s been a good run because we’ve been sticking to our structure,” captain Steven Stamkos said.

“When you get away from that, we’re an average team in this league. We don’t want to be average; we want to be a playoff team. We want to be an above-average team, and above-average teams don’t lose three in a row, so we’ve got some work to do next game.”

Then again, the Bolts will look more like “an above-average team” when Victor Hedman’s back. He practiced with a no-contact jersey today and his at least a week away from returning, so they’ll need to continue to scrap without him.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins