Time: 1:00 pm ET
Location: Canadian Tire Centre
Broadcast/Streaming: ESPN+, BSSUN, TSN5, RDS
Opponent SB Nation Site: Silver Seven Sens
The Tampa Bay Lightning are finishing their five-game road trip and are very close to making it perfect, as they’ve won four previous games. The Ottawa Senators are the only team, which stand between them and this possibility
The Lightning’s line-up will again be far from optimal in tonight’s game. Jon Cooper confirmed yesterday, that Erik Cernak, who missed last couple of games with lower-body injury, isn’t expected to return until Christmas. Meanwhile Anthony Cirelli is a still possibility for the game in Ottawa, although coach Cooper didn’t sound very optimistic yesterday.
The Lightning, however, haven't looked very affected by all of those injuries. After beating the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, they’ve tied with them for the second place in the Atlantic Division, while still having two games in hand. During this road trip the Bolts also outscored their opponents 18-8 and continue to be one of the hottest teams in the NHL.
With Anthony Cirelli potentially out, we will likely see Taylor Raddysh again on the top line alongside with Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat. Raddysh played probably his best game of the season, recording one goal and one assist in 18:37 minutes on the ice, which was also his highest TOI this season. Over the last six games Raddysh is keeping a point-per-game pace with 6 points (3+3) over that span. The only Lightning player hotter than him right now is Corey Perry, who has been racking up points since the end of November and has five points in his last three games.
Riley Nash, who played his first game in the Lightning’s jersey, has found himself on the fourth line with rookies Gabriel Fortier and Boris Katchouk. He didn't get on the scoreboard on that night, but proved why he’s a great fit for the organization — in 7:19 on the ice together their line had a stunning 100 xGF%, not allowing anything by their opponents.
The Senators remain one of the worst teams in the league right now. They lost their previous game against the New York Islanders which snapped a very unusual for them this season three-game winning streak. The Senators’ top line of Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris and Drake Batherson has been their most dangerous weapon this season as three forwards combined for 57 points this season.
In their only game of the season so far, the Lightning defeated the Sens 5-3 after scoring three goals in the third period.
Tampa Bay Lightning Lines:
Ondrej Palat — Steven Stamkos — Taylor Raddysh
Alex Killorn — Ross Colton — Mathieu Joseph
Patrick Maroon — Pierre-Edouard Bellemare — Corey Perry
Gabriel Fortier — Riley Nash — Boris Katchouk
Victor Hedman — Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh — Zach Bogosian
Mikhail Sergachev — Cal Foote
Ottawa Senators Lines
Brady Tkachuk — Josh Norris — Drake Batherson
Alex Formenton — Tim Stutzle — Connor Brown
Zach Sanford — Chris Tierney — Tyler Ennis
Nick Paul — Dylan Gambrell — Austin Watson
Thomas Chabot — Nikita Zaitsev
Nick Holden — Artem Zub
Dillon Heatherington — Victor Mete