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Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Chicago Blackhawks preview: Bolts look for their fifth win against Chicago

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A busy week continues for the Bolts

Tampa Bay Lightning v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Chicago Blackhawks: GAME 29

Time: 7:00 pm ET

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: SUN

Opponent SBNation Site: Second City Hockey

After a quick trip to Dallas, the Tampa Bay Lightning are back at home. The next four days will be very busy for the Lightning as the team will play three games in that stretch, including back-to-back games this weekend. Additionally, one of the games will be played against the Florida Panthers – one of the leaders of the Central Division.

The opponent for the next two games is the Chicago Blackhawks. The teams have already met five times this season and while the Lightning are leading their season series 4-1, the last three games against them weren't easy contests for the Lightning. One of these three games the Lightning lost in a shootout, one of them they won in overtime, and the last time the Bolts needed to overcome a three goal deficit to earn a victory.

Since their last meeting with the Lightning, the Blackhawks have lost three times in their last four games. During that stretch they were outscored 18-10 and their power play – which was at the top of the league not a long time ago – converted just two opportunities out of fifteen. Their goaltender Kevin Lankinen, who carried them earlier in the season, hasn’t also been very sharp lately, posting a less than .900 save percentage in three of the last four games. Patrick Kane is still keeping up with his point per game pace, however the rest of the team wasn’t as productive.

If you look just at the results, the Lightning have also slowed down a little bit. During the last five games they’re 3-2-0, however it was mostly dragged down due to a poor converting of their scoring chances and running into hot Pekka Rinne, who stopped 54 of 55 shots on Sunday night. Otherwise the Lightning performance have been pretty good. According to Evolving-hockey.com, over that timespan the Lightning led the opponents in shot attempts with 58.07 CF% and shot quality with 57.29 xGF% at 5-on-5.

Ross Colton had another solid game on Tuesday night. He picked up his first NHL assist, was strong on forecheck and his ice-time has also been increasing since his first game. Cal Foote has also earned a regular spot on his roster and even got some first-pair minutes with Victor Hedman. On the other hand Taylor Raddysh is still waiting for his NHL debut.

After a half of the season, the Lightning are sharing first place in the division with the Florida Panthers. Both teams have the amount of points and point percentage after 28 games and sitting just one point ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Tampa Bay Lightning Lines

(based on the previous game)

Forwards

Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Anthony Cirelli

Alex Killorn - Yanni Gourde - Steven Stamkos

Barclay Goodrow - Tyler Johnson - Blake Coleman

Pat Maroon - Ross Colton - Mathieu Joseph

Defense

Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Cal Foote

Goalies

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Chicago Blackhawks Lines

(based on the previous game)

Forwards

Alex DeBrincat - Phillip Kurashev - Patrick Kane

Dominik Kubalik - David Kampf - Brandon Hagel

Mattias Janmark - Carl Soderberg - - Pius Suter

Matthew Highmore - Lucas Wallmark - Ryan Carpenter

Defense

Duncan Keith - Adam Boqvist

Calvin De Haan - Connor Murphy

Nikita Zadorov - Ian Mitchell

Goaltender

Kevin Lankinen

Malcolm Subban