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Tampa Bay Lightning at Detroit Red Wings: keep it simple, win both games

The status of Cernak and Rutta is unknown heading into tonight.

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning
Feb 5, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson (9) skates with the puck against the Detroit Red Wings during the third period at Amalie Arena.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning at Detroit Red Wings: GAME 24
Time: 7:30 pm ET
Location: Little Caesars Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: FS-SUN
Opponent SB Nation Site: Winging It In Motown

The Tampa Bay Lightning are in Detroit for two games this week against the Red Wings. Both are 7:30pm start times on Tuesday and Thursday. The Lightning last played in Chicago on Sunday and Detroit played on Saturday.

The Lightning and Red Wings played two games in February, the Lightning winning by a combined score of 8-2 in those games.

Tampa Bay Lightning Lines

The Lightning had to deal with some injuries on Sunday that have not fully been resolved heading into Tuesday’s game. What else is new? Jan Rutta is likely to be out for another game, while Erik Cernak is optimistic on his chances of playing. If he is unable to go, expect Mikhail Sergachev in the top-four and Andreas Borgman back in the lineup. He played his first game of the season and with the Lightning on Sunday on the left side with Luke Schenn or Cal Foote.

At forward, everything should be status quo as the team is as healthy as it can be.

In terms of extras, the Lightning made a move, swapping Gemel Smith and Christopher Gibson with Taylor Raddysh and Spencer Martin with the Syracuse Crunch. This is the first call up of his career for Raddysh, while Martin is likely up to give Gibson some playing time as he hasn’t seen a game all season. Gemel Smith should head to the Crunch and provide some much needed scoring for them.


Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Anthony Cirelli
Alex Killorn - Yanni Gourde - Steven Stamkos
Barclay Goodrow - Tyler Johnson - Blake Coleman
Pat Maroon - Mathieu Joseph - Alex Volkov
Extras: Alex Barre-Boulet, Ross Colton, Taylor Raddysh
Injured: Mitchell Stephens


Victor Hedman - Cal Foote
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Luke Schenn
Extra: Andreas Borgman
Injured: Jan Rutta


Andrei Vasilevskiy
Curtis McElhinney
Extra: Spencer Martin

Detroit Red Wings Lines

Like most teams when they embark on a rebuild, they end up with lots of guys from all over the NHL. Journeymen, cap dumps, free agents looking for ice time. The Red Wings have many such players, including several who have passed through the Lightning organization to varying degrees.

Old friend Vlady Namestnikov is on the second line, here-for-a-fun-time-not-a-long-time Sam Gagner is on the third line, prospect-on-the-verge-of-breaking-out Adam Erne is on the fourth line, and old not-so-much-a-friend Valtteri Filppula is a healthy scratch after getting waived.

On defense, Marc Staal should’ve been a Bolt at some point with the way the Lightning and Rangers were swapping oldies.

This is not a good team. Bobby Ryan is their leading scorer and until I checked their stat sheet, I thought he was Derek Ryan. The fact that I have no recollection of the team’s top scorer being on the team is explanation enough that this team is bad and the Lightning need to beat them over these next two games. The Chicago series has me edgy after points were given away with careless play.

Dylan Larkin has missed the last few games with an injury and tonight’s game will be his first back. Tyler Bertuzzi is injured for them, as is Troy Stecher and some guy names Henrik Zetterberg (hah).

Jonathan Bernier has been not-terrible this season. He stops a lot of pucks for the team every night so his save percentage is naturally higher than other teams that face fewer shots. Plus, bottom-feeding teams don’t usually get the hardest-working opponents so shots don’t come with as much danger.

The key for the Lightning is to get the lead in the first, stick to it in the second, and ride out a boring third period. Then do it all over again on Thursday.


Robby Fabbri - Dylan Larkin - Anthony Mantha
Bobby Ryan - Vladislav Namestnikov - Filip Zadina
Mathias Brome - Michael Rasmussen - Sam Gagner
Darren Helm - Luke Glendening - Adam Erne


Danny DeKeyser - Filip Hronek
Marc Staal - Jon Merrill
Patrik Nemeth - Christian Djoos


Jonathan Bernier
Thomas Greiss