Whre: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California | When: 10 PM EST
Radio: 970 AM WFLA | Television:
Sun Sports FS Florida Sun | Twitter: Live Stream
Opponent Coverage: Jewels from the Crown, The Royal Half, Battle of California
The flip-side of back-to-back games puts the Tampa Bay Lightning in a challenge against the Pacific Division leading Los Angeles Kings. As you already know, the Lightning held on and defeated the Sharks last night, 4-3. On the other side of the ice the Kings took down the Pittsburgh Penguins yesterday afternoon, 5-3 the final.
It was 11 days ago the Lightning hosted the Kings in Tampa with the Bolts edging Los Angeles 2-1 (shootout) in that game and perhaps the four games since that November 25th match up tells you the state of the Lightning in general this season so far. The Lightning has split their 4 games after November 25, going 2-2-0 and being outscored 11-10 in those games combined. Only one game, the Lightning's 4-2 loss to the Capitals, had a goal-differential greater than 1 in the final score.
That seems to further reflect the club this season, doesn't it; a .500 record and having given up just a little more (or a little less) total than its opponents. The Lightning is competing with who they're playing against but they're also not dominating opponents...At least not regularly. In total the Lightning are plus-3 in goal differential (65 for and 62 against) in the first 27 games played and have only won 5 games where they've outscored opponents by 2 or more goals. They're 5-6 in games where the victor finishes with 2 or more goals over the loser.
Should we expect another close TB/LA game tonight? Both teams are playing on the flip-side of back-to-backs so mistakes might lead to more lightning-of-the-lamp. While both teams played yesterday (with 9 goals scored in total by the clubs) LA has a bit of an advantage over the Lightning in time-of-rest post game; the Kings played at 1 PM Pacific Time and their game didn't involve travel afterward. They might have an edge on stamina but that remains to be seen.
The Lightning has made no recalls from the Syracuse Crunch post-game, which isn't surprising with thanks to travel distance. It gives you the notion that Ben Bishop is at least capable of backup duty tonight after taking the stick-to-the-face last night at the SAP Center. It doesn't mean there won't eventually be a recall by the Lightning if Bishop is concussed or something from the incident... It just means that the roster move won't happen tonight (and there's time before it happens - Tampa Bay doesn't play again until Thursday against the Senators).