Time: 7:30 pm Eastern Time
Location: Amalie Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: SunS, FSDT
Opponent SBNation Site: Wingin’ it in Motown
The Tampa Bay Lightning face a team off to one of the worst starts in the NHL tonight when the Detroit Red Wings come to Amalie. I’m not saying Tyler Johnson is going to score back-to-back hat tricks but I’m not not saying that. He has a history of playing well against the Red Wings and considering how bad they are right now and how good he looked on Tuesday, he might be in for another big game.
The Red Wings’ shot metrics aren’t terrible. They’re comfortably in the bottom-half of the league but not as bad as their results make them appear. The real problem so far this year has been the goaltending. They have the worst save percentage in the league and against a team with as much firepower as the Lightning, that could be a problem.
Don’t expect major changes in the Lightning lineup tonight. They beat one of the better teams in the early part of the NHL season on Tuesday in the Carolina Hurricanes. That followed an 8-2 demolition of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Given those results, expect the coaches to stick with what’s working. It looks like Ryan Callahan is ready to make his debut. If that’s the case, the most likely spot is on the fourth line with JT Miller shifting to left wing and Adam Erne scratched.
Normally in a preview, I try to highlight something fun to watch from the other team but things are pretty grim in Detroit right now. And honestly, given the history between the two teams, maybe just beating a bad version of the Wings is enough fun to compel everyone to watch.
The NHL is unpredictable. No one would be surprised if Jimmy Howard suddenly comes up with a shutout and the Wings pull of the upset. But if everything follows the script laid out in the early season thus far, this should be a one-side game, which would be fun for Lightning fans but not so much for Wings fans.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Yanni Gourde - Brayden Point - Steven Stamkos
Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Mathie Joseph
JT Miller - Cedric Paquette - Ryan Callahan
Victor Hedman - Dan Girardi
Ryan McDonagh - Anton Stralman
Braydon Coburn - Mikhail Sergachev
Darren Helm - Dylan Larkin - Gustav Nyquist
Tyler Bertuzzi - Frans Nielsen - Andreas Athanasiou
Michael Rasmussen - Luke Glendening - Justin Abdelkader
Thomas Vanek - Christoffer Ehn - Anthony Mantha
Niklas Kronwall - Filip Hronek
Dennis Cholowski - Trevor Daley
Libor Sulak - Nick Jensen