Time: 1:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Amalie Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, BSDetroit+
Opponent SBNation Site: Winging it in Motown
After hitting a little bit of a speed bump (aka a three-game losing streak) the Tampa Bay Lightning picked up a victory their last time out. They won with a tried and true formula - goals from every line and a several key stops by Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Was it a great win? No, not really. After all, there is little glory in getting outshot by Columbus. Still, it was a victory, and a come from behind one at that. The Lightning finished strong and stole the two points needed to stay atop the Central Division. Now, with two games against the Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay has a chance to make it a winning streak.
It would really be nice if the streak started with a nice blowout win. You know, one of those wins where they score early and often and the outcome is never really in doubt. The last game that wasn’t in doubt heading into the third period came all the way back on March 20th, a 4-1 win against Chicago.
The Lightning have eeked out more wins than losses over the last month, but at no point have they really looked like the fully operational powerhouse that they should be (even with the injuries). So, it would be super cool of them to build a nice lead against the Red Wings and keep the pressure on for a full 60 minutes.
Detroit is a solid opponent for them to try that strategy. They are the second worst team in the league when it comes to goals allowed in the first period with 39 (tied with Philadelphia). Only Ottawa has allowed more (49). They are also the worst team in the league in goals allowed in the final period with 49. Oddly enough they are shockingly ok in the middle frame with only 29 goals allowed (6th-best in the league).
With the exception of two games against Columbus, both wins, where they scored a combined seven goals, the offense has been pretty non-existent for the Red Wings lately. In their last five loses they’ve scored a total of four goals. They also have a league-worst 3-13-2 record on the road. In other words, they are the prime opponent for a Lightning team that needs to get their offense back on line.
Defensively, it will be interesting to see what the Lightning put on the ice. After calling Ben Thomas up for the taxi squad on Thursday, it looks like they may have moved him to the active roster on Friday.
According to Cap Friendly, Andreas Borgman took his spot on the taxi squad. With Ryan McDonagh back in the line-up the left side of the ice is back to full strength and the need for Borgman is diminished. Chances are Thomas could be a game-time decision based on how Jan Rutta or Erik Cernak are during the morning skate. If they can’t make it, there is a better than zero chance that Thomas makes his NHL debut.
Head to Head Numbers
Lightning vs. Detroit
|Goals For/ Game||3.5||2.16|
|Goals Against/ Game||2.39||3.21|
|5v5 xGF %||52.34%||46.28%|
Tampa Bay Lightning Lines
Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Tyler Johnson
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Steven Stamkos
Barclay Goodrow - Yanni Gourde - Blake Coleman
Pat Maroon - Ross Colton - Mathieu Joseph
Victor Hedman - Cal Foote
Mikhail Sergachev - Luke Schenn
Ryan McDonagh - Ben Thomas???????
Detroit Red Wings Lines
Robby Fabbri - Dylan Larkin - Filip Zadina
Givani Smith - Vladislav Namestnikov - Anthony Mantha
Evgeny Svechnikov - Michael Rasmussen - Frans Nielsen
Darren Helm - Luke Glendening - Adam Erne
Danny DeKeyser - Filip Hronek
Marc Staal - Jon Merrill
Patrik Nemeth - Christian Djoos