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Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Arizona Coyotes preview: Bolts can clinch the Presidents’ Trophy tonight

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But can they break their Arizona Coyotes curse?

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Arizona Coyotes: Game 73

Time: 7:30 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: TVAS, SUN

Opponent SBNation Site: Five For Howling

Preview

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.

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

Forwards

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

Defense

Victor Hedman - Mikhail Sergachev

Ryan McDonagh - Eric Cernak

Braydon Coburn - Jan Rutta

Injuries: Anton Stralman, Dan Girardi

Goalies

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Louis Domingue

Arizona Coyotes

Forwards

Clayton Keller - Christian Dvorak - Richard Panik

Vinnie Hinostroza - Brad Richardson - Michael Grabner

Alex Galchenyuk - Nick Cousins - Conor Garland

Lawson Crouse - Mario Kempe - Josh Archibald

Defense

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Jason Demers - Alex Goligoski

Jakob Chychrun - Jordan Oesterle

Goalies

Darcy Kuemper

Calvin Pickard

Injuries: Derek Stepan, Antti Raanta, Nick Schmaltz, Kyle Capobianco