Washington Capitals @ Tampa Bay Lightning: Game 26
Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
Broadcast/Streaming: FoxSun, Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic
Opponent SBNation Site: Japers’ Rink
The Lightning are a tired team. They are a beat-up team. They have been on the road more than the Dave Matthews Band. All of the wear-and-tear is starting to show as they are in the midst of a four-game losing streak. Not only are they losing, but they are clearly being out-played in the losses.
So what’s their reward for persevering? A game at home against a team that has beat them more times than any other in their history.
Washington rolls into town Saturday night as the Lightning stumble home after their three-game road trip. Much like Tampa, the Capitals haven’t been overwhelming in their first 20 or so games this season. They currently sit fourth in the Metropolitan Division with a 13-7-2 record.
This is the 120th meeting between the two teams (only the Panthers have played more against the Bolts) and the Lightning sport an ugly 38-67-6-8 record against the Caps. The 67 regulations losses is the most against any franchise. Before Caps fans start gloating, the Lighting still lead in Stanley Cup banners, not that they’re going to point that out like other teams have.
The usual cast of characters find themselves leading the Capitals. Alex Ovechkin has 12 goals, Nicklas Backstrom has 20 points and Brian Holtby is stopping 92% of the pucks fired his way.
They are a riding a mini-losing streak of their own having dropped their last two games, including a 3-0 shutout at the hands of Jaroslav Halak. After starting off with 8 wins in their first 11 games, they’ve only won 5 of their last 11.
As for the Lightning, Thursday’s game against St. Louis saw Vlad Namestnikov and Slater Koekkoek as healthy scratches as it looks like Coach Jon Cooper is sending a message to his players that they are accountable. Cedric Paquette made the most of the opportunity as he scored twice in 17 minutes of ice time, which was the most he’s seen all year.
In the injury department, Anton Stralman returned to the line-up which is good news. Jason Garrison only played one shift in the third period after taking a shot off the outside of the knee at the end of the second. That would be bad news. For the second straight game Brian Boyle found himself taking shifts as a blue-liner.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn - Valtteri Filppula - Brayden Point
Jonathan Drouin - Cedric Paquette - Joel Vermin
J.T. Brown - Brian Boyle - Michael Bournival
Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman
Jason Garrison - Andrej Sustr
Nikita Nesterov - Braydon Coburn
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Marcus Johansson
Andre Burakovsky - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Jakub Vrana
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Justin Williams
Daniel Winnik - Jay Beagle- Tom Wilson
Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen
Dmitry Orlov - John Carlson
Brooks Orpik- Nate Schmidt
Line information will be updated in the Game Day Thread.