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Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers preview: Louis Domingue goes for a franchise record

The Bolts are getting out of a slump

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Louis Domingue (70) defends against Florida Panthers center Nick Bjugstad (27) during the second period. 
TERRY RENNA/AP

Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers: GAME 56

Time: 6:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: BB&T Center

Broadcast/Streaming: FS-F, SUN

Opponent SBNation Site: Litter Box Cats

Preview:
Games against the Florida Panthers have always been fun. It’s already the fourth and also the last meeting between two teams this season. The Lightning have won every previous game and fans have seen 22 goals, two overtimes, and two shootouts over the last three games.

The Panthers are currently seven points behind the last wild-card position and their chances to make the playoffs are very close to zero. Their management, meanwhile, is trying to be active in the market. They acquired Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange to forwards Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann one week ago. According to the rumors, the Panthers are making space for even bigger acquisitions before the Trade Deadline. Artemi Panarin and Sergey Bobrovsky are expected to be their biggest priorities.

Bobrovsky could be the one who can solve the Panthers goaltending problems. Their team save percentage is the worst in the whole league: Roberto Luongo is already 39 years old and James Reimer is probably not the best person to be a number one for a team that wants to play in the Playoffs.

On the other hand, their power play unit is the second best, after only the Lightning, in the NHL. Keith Yandle is a top-5 player by points on a PP. The Panthers’ PK unit is also pretty decent.

The Lightning had a good game against the Penguins last night. They scored five goals, which is as much as they scored over the prior four games combined. It’s a good sign, although it’s probably too early to know that team is out of their recent slump. It should be mentioned that Penguins have lost some key players due to injuries and have been defeated in their four last games. According to Sean Tierney’s charts showing Corsica’s expected goal differential model, the team have passed league average numbers after hitting their lowest position in the season.

Andrei Vasilevskiy will probably be given a rest after the game last night and that means Louis Domingue will try to break the franchise record for the most consecutive wins by a goaltender. He is currently tied with John Grahame and Vasilevskiy with nine wins in a row. It’s a very impressive achievement, given the fact that Domingue is a back-up goalie. [Raw Charge]

Surprisingly, Nikita Kucherov was one of the few players who didn’t get any points in the last game against Penguins. The current NHL leader in points hasn’t scored a goal in his last ten games.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forwards

Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - Nikita Kucherov

Yanni Gourde - Brayden Point - Tyler Johnson

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - J.T. Miller

Adam Erne - Cedric Paquette - Mathieu Joseph

Scratched: Danick Martel, Ryan Callahan

Defense

Victor Hedman - Dan Girardi

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Braydon Coburn - Mikhail Sergachev

Scratched: Anton Stralman

Goalies

Louis Domingue

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Florida Panthers

Forwards

Evgenii Dadonov - Alexander Barkov - Derick Brassard

Jonathan Huberdeau - Vincent Trocheck - Frank Vatrano

Mike Hoffman - Henrik Borgstrom - Colton Sceviour

Troy Brouwer - Denis Malgin - Riley Sheahan

Defense

Keith Yandle - Aaron Ekblad

Mike Matheson - Mark Pysyk

Ian McCoshen - Josh Brown

Goalies

Roberto Luongo

James Reimer

Scratched: MacKenzie Weegar, Micheal Haley, Bogdan Kiselevich

Injured: Jayce Hawryluk , Derek MacKenzie