Tampa Bay Lightning at Calgary: #51
Time: 9:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Scotiabank Saddledome
Broadcast/Streaming: Fox Sports Sun, SN360
Opponent SBNation Site: Match Sticks and Gasoline
The Tampa Bay Lightning look to rebound against the Calgary Flames after a disappointing loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night. This is the second game of a four-game road trip to Western Canada. While the Lightning have already faced the best team on this road trip, the Flames are the second best team and beat the Lightning 5-1 in their previous meeting at Amalie Arena this season.
The Lightning welcomed back Victor Hedman to the ice on Tuesday as well, making a slightly early return from the 3-6 weeks estimated for his lower body injury. He played over 25 minutes and looked strong early, but by the second half of the game, it was clear he was not quite in game shape yet. That’s understandable after almost three weeks off and only having a couple of opportunities to skate before returning. It may take Hedman another game or two to be all the way back and we should see improvements in his conditioning each game as he gets back in the groove.
Calgary returned from their road trip with a 4-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. The Flames have reason to be fired up for their game against the Lightning, after losing that game in bad fashion. After leading 2-1 late in the game, Calgary allowed three goals (including an empty netter) in just 53 seconds to take the loss.
It will be a little bit before we have confirmation this morning, but I would expect that both All-Star goaltenders Andrei Vasilevskiy and Mike Smith to be in net. For the Lightning, I wouldn’t expect any other line-up changes as Mikhail Sergachev also returned from a two-game healthy scratch prior to the All-Star break.
The Lightning have hit a bit of a rough patch in their last 10 games. The primary cause seems to be the defense as evidenced by all the blue dots in the below-average area in that portion of the chart. The other thing to note is the way their offense has changed from generating being more about shot quantity to being about shot quality over the last ten games.
The Flames are a balanced team with good shot and expected goal metrics. They’ve had some unfortunate shooting luck but have compensated for that with good goaltending. Overall, this is a matchup of two good teams with plenty of talent that should produce some fun hockey for fans.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Vladislav Namestnikov - Steven Stamkos - Nikita Kucherov
Tyler Johnson - Brayden Point - Yanni Gourde
Michael Bournival - Matthew Peca - Michael Bournival
Chris Kunitz - Cedric Paquette - Ryan Callahan
Victor Hedman - Jake Dotchin
Mikhail Sergachev - Anton Stralman
Braydon Coburn - Dan Girardi
Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Micheal Ferland
Matthew Tkachuk - Mikael Backlund - Michael Frolik
Sam Bennett - Mark Jankowski - Troy Brouwer
Curtis Lazar - Matt Stajan - Garnet Hathaway
Mark Giordano - Dougie Hamilton
T.J. Brodie - Travis Hamonic
Brett Kulak - Michael Stone