An important date on a calendar often finds a red circle surrounding the day. For a player traded from one team to another, the first meeting with the former team tends to end up with red ink around it.

Even if that date is more than a year later.

That day for Anders Lindback comes tonight, when Tampa Bay hosts Nashville in the first meeting between the teams since the goaltender was acquired by the Lightning from the Predators on June 15, 2012. And indications are Lindback will get the chance to start against his former team.

“Of course it’s special playing against teammates,’’ Lindback said. “For me, obviously, I want to get in and play as much as I can. And it would be nice to play against them, but I do think you just try to approach every game the same and be at your best level all the time.’’

Lindback has yet to establish himself as the No. 1 goalie Tampa Bay envisioned when it gave up two second-round picks and a third-round selection in the 2012 draft. A high ankle sprain set him back midway through the lockout-shortened season last year, while Ben Bishop, acquired from Ottawa in April, has taken hold of the top spot this season for the Lightning.

“It’s been a little up and down,’’ Lindback, 25, said of his two seasons with Tampa Bay. “In some ways I feel that I’m a way-better goalie now than I was when I got here. It’s a little frustrating right now, because I feel like I’m really getting better every day and I want to get in there more.

“But, obviously, Bish is playing unbelievable. So, it’s a tough situation again for me. I’m just trying to look for every opportunity to prove myself.’’

The lack of playing time for Lindback is more a testament to Bishop’s play this season than any sort of admonishment of Lindback. His numbers are not completely indicative of how he has played this season.