We are 15 games into the season and the Tampa Bay Lightning have a very positive nine wins and only three regulation losses despite their somewhat tepid start to the campaign. A nine-game point streak that includes seven wins will do that, I guess.
Tonight, they face the surprisingly mediocre New Jersey Devils at home for a matinee. The Devils are sixth in the Metro, ahead of the Penguins and Islanders, so I can’t imagine they won’t get caught up, but for now they’re doing okay.
There have been few updates on the Lightning following Thursday’s win as the team took the day off and only the scratches went for an optional skate. However, one piece of news you’ve probably heard about is Alex Barre-Boulet being sent down to the Syracuse Crunch after struggling to meet the demands of a spot in the lineup. The three other “kids” have found a home together on the fourth line, which has been productive with a goal, lots of chances, and eight penalties drawn.
The other youngster is Mathieu Joseph, who scored his third goal and seventh point of the season on Thursday in a role on the second line. He and linemate Alex Killorn lead the team in takeaways with 11 and 12, respectively.
UPDATE: Cal Foote is scratched for tonight in place of Fredrik Claesson after a pair of costly mistakes in the first period of the Flyers game.
As for the Devils, they’ve been a middle-of-the-pack team when it comes to shot volume and shot share. Very very average, which is probably a huge success for them after the last several years. Two areas that are holding them back a little bit is their power play, which is not generating shots from good spots. The other area is giving up the front of the net defensively and giving up those high danger chances.
Tampa Bay Lightning Lines
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 - Fredrik Claesson
Andrei Vasilevskiy - starter
New Jersey Devils Lines
Pavel Zacha - Nico Hischier - Tomas Tatar
Andreas Johnsson - Dawson Mercer - Jesper Bratt
Janne Kuokkanen - Jesper Boqvist - Yegor Sharangovich
Jimmy Vesey - Michael McLeod - Fabian Zetterlund
Ryan Graves - Dougie Hamilton
Ty Smith - Damon Severson
Jonas Siegenthaler - PK Subban
MacKenzie Blackwood - projected