Time: 6:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: BB&T Center
Broadcast/Streaming: FS-F, SUN
Opponent SBNation Site: Litter Box Cats
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.
The one guy for #TBLightning who didn’t snap his slump tonight was Nikita Kucherov, whose goal drought is at 10 games. Was minus-4 with one shot on goal. Cooper indicated it’s just a matter of time. “I don’t worry about ‘Kuch.’”— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) February 10, 2019
Tampa Bay Lightning
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
Victor Hedman - Dan Girardi
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak
Braydon Coburn - Mikhail Sergachev
Scratched: Anton Stralman
Evgenii Dadonov - Alexander Barkov - Derick Brassard
Jonathan Huberdeau - Vincent Trocheck - Frank Vatrano
Mike Hoffman - Henrik Borgstrom - Colton Sceviour
Troy Brouwer - Denis Malgin - Riley Sheahan
Keith Yandle - Aaron Ekblad
Mike Matheson - Mark Pysyk
Ian McCoshen - Josh Brown
Scratched: MacKenzie Weegar, Micheal Haley, Bogdan Kiselevich
Injured: Jayce Hawryluk , Derek MacKenzie