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Tampa Bay Lightning at Carolina Hurricanes preview: Finally, a team that’s not the Panthers!

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Now the season can really begin. Right?

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning at Carolina Hurricanes: GAME 3

Time: 5:00 pm ET

Location: PNC Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: FS-CR, SUN

Opponent SBNation Site: Canes Country

Preview:

Well, after five straight games against the Florida Panthers, the Tampa Bay Lightning arrive in Carolina to take on the Hurricanes. Both teams will be playing their second-half of a back-to-back this weekend, so at least everyone’s tired!

The Lightning dropped last night’s game 4-3, while the Hurricanes beat the Capitals in overtime. Tampa Bay played well against Florida to start, but went down 3-0 in the second and couldn’t quite come back from that deficit. Carolina also went down 2-0 against Washington, but fought back to send the game to overtime. They killed off a penalty in the extra frame, and Jake Gardiner scored the game-winner.

Gemel Smith scored his first goal with the Lightning last night, while Steven Stamkos and Mathieu Joseph got on the scoresheet for the first time this season. Despite not getting the result they wanted, it was encouraging that Tampa Bay outplayed Florida last night — the difference was special teams.

As far as lineup changes go, the only difference for the Bolts should be Curtis McElhinney coming in for Andrei Vasilevskiy. Likewise, we’ll probably see Petr Mrazek come in for James Reimer for Carolina. While the Hurricanes remain uninjured, the Lightning are still without Brayden Point (who is progressing well) and Cedric Paquette (who we may not see until closer to November).

Tonight’s game will be the third in four nights for the Bolts, who then get three days off before heading up north for their Eastern Canadian road trip. Hopefully they can get their road trip headed back in the right direction with a win tonight.

Tampa Bay Lightning (1-1-0)

Forwards

Steven Stamkos - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov

Ondrej Palat - Anthony Cirelli - Alex Killorn

Carter Verhaeghe - Yanni Gourde - Mathieu Joseph

Patrick Maroon - Gemel Smith - Luke Witkowski

Injured: Brayden Point, Cedric Paquette

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Kevin Shattenkirk

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Braydon Coburn - Mikhail Sergachev

Scratched: Jan Rutta

Goaltenders

Curtis McElhinney

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Carolina Hurricanes (1-0-0)

Forward Lines

Nino Niederreiter - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen

Andrei Svechnikov - Jordan Staal - Brock McGinn

Ryan Dzingel - Erik Haula - Martin Necas

Warren Foegele - Lucas Wallmark - Jordan Martinook

Defense Pairings

Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton

Joel Edmundson - Brett Pesce

Jake Gardiner - Haydn Fleury

Goaltenders

Petr Mrazek

James Reimer