Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Amalie Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: ESPN+, BSSUN, TVAS, SN, MSG+
Opponent SBNation Site: Lighthouse Hockey
Over the past two seasons the New York Islanders have have becume one of the biggest rivals in the league for the Lightning. Tonight’s opponents have met twice at the Eastern Conference finals stage in two consecutive past years and the Isles were the team which challenged the Lightning the most during their two Stanley Cup runs. They were also the only team which forced a seventh game in a series against the Lightning during those two years.
On Saturday, the Lightning extended their point streak to seven games after beating the Florida Panthers in the overtime. Despite the result, the Bolts were outplayed by the Panthers in nearly all possession metrics, although the Lightning, as it happens to them usually, still got an edge in quality of their chances with 65 HDCF% at 5v5. The Lightning’s defence played very carefully at their own end (apart from that short timespan in the second period, when the Bolts allowed two quick goals) and Andrei Vasilevskiy had another spectacular performance, saving 0.46 goals above average in all situations and keeping them alive in the overtime with another mindblowing save.
The Lightning’s coaching staff once made some changes in their roster, this time it was Alex Barre-Boulet, who was sent to watch the game from the press box while Boris Katchouk took his roster spot. With Taylor Raddysh seemingly enjoying more trust from the coaches, Katchouk and Barre-Boulet will be fighting for the last spot in near future. Despite not playing for couple of weeks due to injury, Katchouk played a very solid game and recorded his first NHL point in just nine minutes of ice time.
Meanwhile the Lightning’s coaching staff is presumably discouraged by Barre-Boulet’s performance at 5v5 — a Lightning forward has the worst underlying numbers in the whole team and really struggled in bottom-six role so far. Katchouk proved to be a better player in this role and the Lightning still haven’t allowed a goal with him on the ice at 5v5, however his sample size is quite small.
Speaking of the Isles, they have a very slow start of the season, currently sitting at the last place in a very strong and balanced Metropolitan Division. That shouldn’t be a reason of worry for the Islanders fans, as the team had such slow starts before and still reached at least the second round in each season with Barry Trotz as their head coach. The Isles are currently running a two-game losing streak and scored just four goals in the past three games.
The Islanders roster stayed mostly the same in comparison with their roster during last season’s semifinal series. They lost Jordan Eberle to the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft and veterans Andrew Ladd and Nick Leddy to the Arizona Coyotes and the Detroit Red Wings respectively. As replacements, the Islanders signed two very experienced players in Zach Parise and Zdeno Chara, keeping the team as one of the oldest average aged in the league.
With the game against the Islanders tonight, the Lightning are finishing their three-game home stand and heading on a very short road trip to Philadelphia. The team will return to Amalie Arena next Saturday.
Tampa Bay Lightning Lines
(based on the previous game)
Ondrej Palat — Brayden Point — Anthony Cirelli
Alex Killorn — Steven Stamkos — Mathieu Joseph
Patrick Maroon — Pierre-Edouard Bellemare — Corey Perry
Taylor Raddysh — Ross Colton — Boris Katchouk
Victor Hedman — Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh — Zach Bogosian
Mikhail Sergachev — Cal Foote
New York Islanders Lines
(based on the previous game)
Anders Lee — Mathew Barzal — Zach Parise
Anthony Beauvillier — Brock Nelson — Kyle Palmieri
Josh Bailey — Jean-Gabriel Pageau — Oliver Wahlstrom
Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech — Scott Mayfield
Zdeno Chara — Ryan Pulock
Andy Greene — Noah Dobson