Time: 5:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Amalie Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: ESPN+, BSSUN, BSN, BSWI
Opponent SBNation Site: Hockey Wilderness
The Tampa Bay Lightning learned a hard lesson on Saturday afternoon after blowing a 3-1 lead in the game against the New Jersey Devils. Jon Cooper sensed some arrogance in the way his team played, even saying that “some old bad habits crept into our game from years when we didn’t go very far in the playoffs“. The Lightning, however, need to move on from that loss as quickly as possible, as they’re hosting the Minnesota Wild today in another afternoon game.
The Lightning have finally fixed their power play and have been converting their opportunities for four consecutive games in a row. However, the top unit is responsible for just two goals as the rest of them were scored by a very surprising player — Pat Maroon, who has moved into second place on the team in power play goals. The Lightning also jumped to 13th place in the league with a 20.41 PP%.
The new kid line, or as someone might say a Tampacuse line, of Taylor Raddysh, Ross Colton, and Boris Katchouk, have been another bright spot lately. They’ve found really good chemistry and are feeling more confident over the course of the season. They have not collected a lot of points yet, but have been doing a lot of groundwork and playing in a very physical way. Yesterday they played a big part in Victor Hedman’s goal and Boris Katchouk recorded his second NHL point. Their underlying numbers from the last game were also pretty strong.
Despite some rumours that Cal Foote was benched after his mistakes in a previous game, Jon Cooper denied it, saying that the young defenceman was unable to play and wasn’t a healthy scratch. Given this, Fredrik Claesson will likely play for the second night in a row in a Lightning’s jersey. Brian Elliott will start in his third game this season, as Andrei Vasilevskiy will watch the game from the bench.
The Wild also didn’t have a rest yesterday and suffered a loss against a much stronger opponent, the Florida Panthers. The Wild are currently leading the Central Division with 11-6-0 after one of the best starts in their history. The Wild, however, not only lost points in their previous game, but also their captain Jared Spurgeon, who left the game early with an upper-body injury. The Wild are expected to recall young defenceman Calen Addison, who could replace Spurgeon. Another possibility is veteran defenceman Jordie Benn, who played just once this season.
Kirill Kaprizov is leading the team with 17 points in 17 games. The Russian forward was criticized earlier for his slow start this season, but has found his game recently and has six points in two previous games.
The Lightning and the Wild will meet twice over the next week — next Sunday the Lightning will pay a return visit to Saint Paul, Minnesota.
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 — Fredrik Claesson
Minnesota Wild Lines
(based on the previous game)
Kevin Fiala — Ryan Hartman — Mats Zuccarello
Jordan Greenway — Joel Eriksson Ek — Marcus Foligno
Kirill Kaprizov — Victor Rask — Frederick Gaudreau
Brandon Duhaime — Nico Sturm — Rem Pitlick
Ryan Goligoski — Calen Addison (?)
Jonas Brodin — Matt Dumba
Jon Merrill — Dmitry Kulikov