Time: 7:30 pm Eastern Time
Location: Amalie Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: TVAS, SUN
Opponent SBNation Site: Five For Howling
After a win against the Washington Capitals, Tampa host a team from the Western Conference: the Arizona Coyotes. The biggest loss of this season for the Bolts came against the Coyotes in October. The Lightning were smashed 1-7 at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. Surprisingly, the Coyotes have always been a difficult opponent for the Bolts. They’ve lost four of the five last meetings between the two teams.
The Coyotes currently hold the last wild card spot in the west and have a one point advantage on the Minnesota WIld with one game in hand. If they make it, this would be their first playoff appearance since changing their name to the Arizona Coyotes.
The Yotes are playing well on the penalty kill. They have the second best PK percentage in the whole league, second only to their opponent tonight. They are also second for the most shorthanded goals in the league. On the other hand, their power play numbers are not very strong and it seems that shooting percentage is the biggest problem there.
Injuries are another problem for the Coyotes. They are missing their number one goalie Antti Raanta for the rest of the season. Nick Schmaltz is expected to miss the remaining games this year as well. And Derek Stepan is also on the injury list with lower body injury.
For the Lightning, we still don’t have any updates on the condition of Anton Stralman and Dan Girardi. Both players have missed four games so far. The forward lineup will likely remain the same as it has been with the Bolts playing well lately.
The Lightning have also recalled Cameron Gaunce from the Syracuse Crunch for insurance purpose.
With only 6 healthy D-men on the roster currently, #Bolts bring up Gaunce for insurance purposes. Also could mean Girardi and Stralman will need longer to get healthy and back in the lineup. https://t.co/JWrvw6qFHF— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) March 18, 2019
Tonight starts a rough stretch of the schedule for the Lightning. They’ll play five games in the next eight days with three of them coming on the road including a midweek back to back. All five games will be against teams currently in a playoff spot with the Coyotes being the weakest of the bunch.
After tonight, the next four games are against the Capitals, Hurricanes, Blues, Bruins. That’s quite a gauntlet to face this late in the season. If the Lightning want to make the most of this stretch and keep up their pursuit of the wins record, they’ll need to start with two points tonight.
And if they get that win, the Lightning will clinch the Atlantic Division title and the Presidents’ Trophy, which would add another franchise first to an already historic season.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - J.T. Miller
Tyler Johnson - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Mathieu Joseph
Adam Erne - Cedric Paquette - Yanni Gourde
Scratched: Danick Martel, Ryan Callahan
Victor Hedman - Mikhail Sergachev
Ryan McDonagh - Eric Cernak
Braydon Coburn - Jan Rutta
Injuries: Anton Stralman, Dan Girardi
Clayton Keller - Christian Dvorak - Richard Panik
Vinnie Hinostroza - Brad Richardson - Michael Grabner
Alex Galchenyuk - Nick Cousins - Conor Garland
Lawson Crouse - Mario Kempe - Josh Archibald
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Niklas Hjalmarsson
Jason Demers - Alex Goligoski
Jakob Chychrun - Jordan Oesterle
Injuries: Derek Stepan, Antti Raanta, Nick Schmaltz, Kyle Capobianco