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Lightning at Ducks Preview: One win at a time

The Bolts are on the back end of a back-to-back set in their road trip out West.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Lightning at Ducks: Game 46

Time: 10 pm Eastern Time

Location: Honda Center

Broadcast/Streaming: Sun, Prime

Opponent SBNation Site: Anaheim Calling

Preview:

Who’s staying up tonight to catch the Lightning against the Ducks?

Had the Bolts turned in a ho-hum game Monday in Los Angeles, perhaps that decision is made quite easily. But in a game where defenseman Victor Hedman left warmups and subsequently was scratched because of an illness and Ben Bishop’s rare mishandling of the puck resulted in a 1-0 Kings lead, the Lightning showed a lot of fight, both figuratively and literally (thanks to Luke Witkowski’s bout with Kyle Clifford).

It’s been frustrating to watch them this season because on one hand, you’ve got the team that had been on a four-game losing streak, and now you’ve got a team that defeated the Kings 2-1 without their top defenseman (granted, the Kings’ also had a late scratch in Anze Kopitar) that desperately needed these two points. But if this is truly the make-it-or-break-it point of the season, before the All-Star break, then the Lightning need to continue to build on this.

They face a Ducks team that lost a 2-1 overtime game to the Blues on Sunday. They’ve played eight games this month and have picked up at least a point in all games except one. They also have three shutouts. Yeah.

Despite that early miscue, Bishop turned in a strong performance, and the Lightning should lean on him again tonight. There’s no need to give him a night off, not when he needs to continually be playing after coming back from an injury. Besides, the game on Monday started a lot earlier, so he’s technically getting more than 24 hours before his next start.

You shouldn’t fix what ain’t broke, but Raw Charge writer GeoFitz4 predicts that Joel Vermin will come into the lineup and replace Erik Condra.

Interesting game notes, courtesy of the Lightning:

  • The Lightning haven’t lost to the Ducks in regulation since Dec. 14, 2005.
  • They’ve swept the season series over the Ducks in the last two seasons.
  • The Bolts ended a five-game road losing streak with Monday’s win.
  • The Lightning are wrapping up their final set of three back-to-back games in 11 days.

Comparison chart:

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Ondrej Palat - Vlad Namestnikov - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Tyler Johnson - Erik Condra

Brian Boyle - Valtteri Filppula - Jonathan Drouin

Michael Bournival - Cedric Paquette - Gabriel Dumont

Defense Pairings

Nikita Nesterov - Anton Stralman

Jason Garrison - Andrej Sustr

Braydon Coburn - Luke Witkowski

Goalies

Ben Bishop

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Anaheim Ducks

Forward Lines

Andrew Cogliano - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg

Richard Rakell - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Nick Ritchie - Antoine Vermette - Ondrej Kase

Joseph Cramarossa - Logan Shaw - Jared Boll

Defense Pairings

Cam Fowler - Sami Vatanen

Hampus Lindholm - Manson

Korbinian Holzer - Kevin Bieksa

Goaltenders

John Gibson

Jonathan Bernier