Time: 12:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Amalie Arena
Opponent SBNation Site: Winging it in Motown
Yesterday the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Detroit Red Wings in their fifth meeting of the season, extending their lead in season series to 4-1. The Lightning’s home winning streak against the Red Wings has reached some really ridiculous numbers as Tampa Bay has now won 17 consecutive home games over Detroit – the longest active home winning streak in the NHL. Another very impressive number is Andrei Vasilevskiy’s record against Detroit – the Russian goaltender has never lost a single game against this opponent in 12 total starts.
Despite the numbers on the scoreboard in yesterday’s game, the Lightning were the better team last night, controlling the game with a big margin. The Lightning started the game with a dominating performance in the opening half of the first period, maintaining a comfortable lead after scoring two early goals. The Red Wings had some very good stretches of the game and managed to cut the Lightning’s lead to one goal, but weren’t able to complete the comeback and eventually feel to Tampa Bay 2-1. The Lightning ended the game with having a lead in both Corsi-For and expected goal share at 5v5.
The Lightning’s fourth line had another great game last night. Ross Colton scored his fourth goal and eleventh point of the season, in the last five games he recorded four points – pretty amazing stats for a rookie. Addressing a potential need to choose between him and Mitchell Stephens, who has been recently sent to Syracuse, Jon Cooper admitted that this is a nice problem to have to choose between two players, both who have played well.
Jon Cooper on lineup decision looming when Stephens is ready: “You want to have decisions like that. I'd rather make decisions of like ‘Oh my gosh, who are we putting in because they're all playing so well than who are we putting in because they've all been brutal.” #TBLightning— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) April 3, 2021
Despite being added to the Lightning’s active roster, Ben Thomas hasn’t made his NHL debut last night as the Lightning chose the more experienced Luke Schenn over him. However with Jan Rutta and Erik Cernak out, he still could see some ice time in the next games. No new information on Cernak has been provided yet, but according to Jon Cooper, Jan Rutta is more in the week-to-week category now.
Given the second game in two days, Curtis McElhinney is expected to start in tonight’s game against Detroit. McElhinney has already played against the Red Wings this season, so far it was the only game which the Lightning lost to Detroit. Calvin Pickard will also likely return to the Red Wings net, the 28-year old goaltender started seeing more ice time lately, while Jonathan Bernier is out with lower-body injury. Pickard has .879 SV% and 2.76 GAA in five games.
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
Ryan McDonagh - Mikhail Sergachev
Andreas Borgman - Luke Schenn
Detroit Red Wings Lines
Robby Fabbri - Dylan Larkin - Filip Zadina
Givani Smith - Michael Rasmussen - Anthony Mantha
Frans Nielsen - Vladislav Namestnikov - Valtteri Filppula
Darren Helm - Luke Glendening - Adam Erne
Danny DeKeyser - Filip Hronek
Marc Staal - Troy Stetcher
Patrik Nemeth - Jon Merrill