Preview: MK Lightning v Cardiff Devils (17th Feb, 5.15pm)
By Mike Walls
Cardiff Devils visit Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning for the fourth and final time this season on Sunday and the defending EIHL champions will be hoping for their fourth win in MK to remain top of the league standings.
The last time that the Devils – coached by Andrew Lord – visited Buckinghamshire it was just before Christmas and a 20-shot shut out from Ben Bowns saw the visitors return to South Wales with a 3-0 win.
The two sides will be on familiar terms, having faced off less than 24 hours earlier at the Viola Arena, the Lightning recorded their only win against Cardiff so far this season in the Welsh capital back in November when two Georgs Golovkovs goals earned MK a 3-2 win in overtime.
The Lightning will welcome back the Latvian forward following on from his call up to the Latvian national side and picking up three assists in three games.
Last weekend the Devils picked up a narrow 6-5 win on Saturday at home against Coventry and on Sunday recovered from 3-0 down with three minutes left in the game to take Guildford Flames to Overtime in Surrey. Flames would win in the penalty shootout but the point for the OT loss leaves Cardiff one point clear at the top of the table with a game in hand on Belfast Giants who are second.
The hosts will be hoping to build on last Saturday’s win over Dundee Stars which snapped Lightning’s losing streak, but they’ll need to be wary of a number of Devils players including their top scorer, Gleason Fournier. The Canadian defenceman currently has 18 goals and 42 assists.
The visitors have also strengthened their ranks since last visiting MK, having signed former St Louis Blues draft pick, James Livingston, from DEL2 outfit Nauheim.
Sunday’s face off is at the family friendly time of 5.15pm. Buy your tickets on the door or in advance at mk-lightning.co.uk/tickets. Alternatively call us on 01908 540020.