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Calgary Flames at Tampa Bay Lightning Preview and Game Day Thread

Keep the winning streak going

NHL: MAR 10 Lightning at Flames Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Calgary Flames at Tampa Bay Lightning: GAME #17

Time: 7:00 PM Eastern Standard

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, SNW, ESPN+

Opponent SBNation Site: Matchstick & Gasoline


The Tampa Bay Lightning played two very fun and offensively great games recently, scoring 11 goals for the first time in two consecutive games this season. Those two wins also allowed them to stay in the leading group in the Atlantic division, just two points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs with one game in hand. Tonight’s game against the Calgary Flames is another opportunity to close that gap.

The defence continues to be one of the biggest issues this season for the Bolts. The Lightning are in the bottom-10 in the league with both 2.8 goals against per 60 minutes and 2.9 expected goals against per 60 minutes according to The Lightning have never allowed less than two goals in a single game so far this season.

Erik Cernak and Cal Foote missed some of the recent games, although Jon Cooper is hopeful that at least one of will be in the line-up for tonight’s game and both will be ready for the weekend. Zach Bogosian has been practicing with the team in regular season for a while now and should be back in the line-up in the upcoming season.

The injuries, however, allowed some players to step up: Ian Cole recorded two points in the last game against the Dallas Stars, including his first goal in a Lightning jersey. Nick Perbix has scored five points in his five recent games, while playing solid 15 minutes per game at 5v5. Part of his scoring explosion is obviously playing with Mikhail Sergachev, who has been clearly the best Lightning’s defenceman this season. After signing a new long-term contract last offseason, Sergachev has 15 points in 16 games so far, which is good enough for seventh best record amongst all defenceman in the NHL.

With a game against the Bolts, Calgary is starting their long, six-game trip to the East. The Flames so far have been heavily inconsistent team this season — after a fresh start of the regular season, where they won five out of six games, they got into a massive hole, losing seven games in a row. The situation has improved recently as they’ve won two previous games against the Winnipeg Jets and the Los Angeles Kings.

Calgary was also struggling with some injuries during their slump, but their line-up is slowly getting more healthy now. The most significant one is the return of Jonathan Huberdeau. The 29-year-old player, who was a part of a blockbuster offseason trade involving also Matthew Tkachuk, scored a goal in his return. The Flames also got back defenceman Chris Tanev while Michael Stone is getting closer to return.

While their position in the standings and recent seven-game losing streak might suggest that Calgary is struggling after the departure of Johnny Gaudreau and trading away Matthew Tkachuk, their underlying numbers are not that bad actually. At 5v5 the Flames are top-10 team in the league with 54.56 CF% and remain above the water with 51.55 xGF%. Nazem Kadri, who was supposed to fill the hole in the center, is currently leading the team with 14 (7+7) points in 15 games. Adam Ruzicka since his recall at the beginning of November, has been one of the hottest Calgary players, recording four points in two previous games. Both of their goaltenders, however, are mediocre at best this season — their starting goalie Jacob Markstrom is one of the worst in the league with -1.35 GSAx in all situations.

Tampa Bay vs. Calgary Comparison

Game # 17 Tampa Bay Lightning Calgary Flames
Game # 17 Tampa Bay Lightning Calgary Flames
Overall Record 9-6-1 7-6-2
Home Record 5-2-1 6-4-1
Road Record 4-4-0 1-2-1
Goals For 54 47
Goals Against 52 50
xGF 54.72 49
xGA 52.47 44.56
PP% 22.7% 20%
PK% 80.3% 81.7%
Stats drawn from and Natural Stat Trick

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Brandon Hagel - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Steven Stamkos - Nick Paul - Alex Killorn

Ross Colton - Vlad Namestnikov - Corey Perry

Pat Maroon - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Cole Koepke

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Ian Cole

Mikhail Sergachev - Nick Perbix

Haydn Fleury - Philippe Myers


Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

Calgary Flames

Forward Lines

Adam Ruzicka - Elias Lindholm - Tyler Toffoli

Milan Lucic - Nazem Kadri - Andrew Mangiapane

Jonathan Huberdeau - Mikael Backlund - Trevor Lewis

Blake Coleman - Dillon Dube - Brett Ritchie

Defense Pairings

Noah Hanifin - Rasmus Andersson

MacKenzie Weegar - Chris Tanev

Nikita Zadorov - Nick DeSimone


Jacob Markstrom

Dan Vladar