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Tampa Bay Lightning vs. San Jose Sharks preview: The Bolts need to start getting points

One of the best power play units meet the best penalty kill unit in the league.

San Jose Sharks v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning vs San Jose Sharks Game 27

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: Fox Sports Sun

Opponent SBNation Site: Fear the Fin

Preview:

The Tampa Bay Lightning are back in action this evening against the San Jose Sharks. The team needs to start getting points. They have just three points over the last five games and need to get back on track, although all of those games were decided just by one goal and the Lightning simply lacked of a bit of luck sometimes.

Cory Conacher has been reassigned to the Syracuse Crunch again. This time, it’s not just a paper transaction. Conacher has already played for the Crunch and even scored couple of goals yesterday. Pat Maroon missed Friday’s practice, but according to head coach Jon Cooper, it was just a maintenance day for him and he will be ready tonight. Brayden Coburn is still out indefinitely due to his injury. Cooper also said at morning skate that the team would use a traditional 12 forward and 6 defender lineup tonight. That means Carter Verhaeghe will play and could signal some changes in the forward lines.

Jon Cooper also mentioned that yesterday’s practice was one of the best this season and he’s hoping that the team will play well against the Sharks

Just like the Lightning’s most recent opponent, the Minnesota Wild, the Sharks made a very impressive run after failing at the start of the season. They’re currently tied for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference and finished seven of 10 last games with at least one point. However, they’ve lost their two last games, including their first game of the current road trip against the Carolina Hurricanes in overtime. The team full of offensive stars including Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns is still not providing enough, they’re 26th in terms of expected goals. Their PP play unit also isn’t working as it was last season. On the other hand, their penalty kill unit is the best in the league with a pretty big gap between them and the second team.

Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Lightning are still in sixth place in the division, three points behind the Montreal Canadiens, who are sitting in second place. The Lightning have played about three to four games less than their opponents and with a victory tonight and also the Panthers and the Sabres losing to their opponents, could be tied for the third place.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Steven Stamkos

Carter Verhaeghe - Tyler Johnson - Mathieu Joseph

Patrick Maroon - Cedric Paquette - Yanni Gourde

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Kevin Shattenkirk

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Luke Schenn

Jan Rutta

Goaltenders

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

San Jose Sharks

Forward Lines

Evander Kane - Logan Couture - Barclay Goodrow

Timo Meier - Tomas Hertl - Patrick Marleau

Marcus Sorensen - Joe Thornton - Kevin Labanc

Noah Gregor - Dylan Gambrell - Melker Karlsson

Defense Pairings

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Erik Karlsson

Radim Simek - Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon - Mario Ferraro

Goaltenders

Aaron Dell

Martin Jones