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Tampa Bay Lightning at Nashville Predators Preview and Game Day Thread

It’s time for the Philippe Myers revenge game

Calgary Flames v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning at Nashville Predators: GAME# 18

Time: 8:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Bridgestone Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, BSSO, ESPN+

Opponent SBNation Site: On the Forecheck

DraftKings Line: Lightning -1.5 O/U 6


Friend of the blog and Lightning Insider, Erik Erlendsson, mentioned this on his podcast following the win against the Calgary Flames, this match-up has all of the markings of a trap game for the Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s on the road in the middle of a lot of home games, it’s against a middling team, it’s right before a game against the league-leading Boston Bruins, and it comes off of one of the best performances of the season.

Lets throw in the fact that the Lightning are a little beat up with rookies Cole Koepke and Nick Perbix joining Cal Foote and Erik Cernak in the day-to-day injury designations and you can see why this game won’t be a walk in the park (or a stroll down Lower Broadway). Oh, and the Predators are running on a three-game winning streak with wins over the New York Rangers, Minnesota Wild, and New York Islanders. In the win against the Islanders, they remembered that they are actually allowed to score more than two goals in a game as they potted 5 against Ilya Sorokin.

Offense has been an issue for them all season as they are averaging just 2.71 goals per game, 27th-best in the league. Young forward Jusso Parssinen might be providing a little help in that department as he had two goals against the Islanders and has 4 points (3 goals, 1 assist) since his call-up from the AHL a week ago. The 21-year-old was a 7th-round pick in 2019 and has earned a spot on the top line based on his performance over the past week. He’s a large individual at 6’3” and 212 pounds, and is described by his coach, John Hynes, as a “power-first player”.

Lightning fans will also be watching old friend Ryan McDonagh as he suits up for the first time against the team he won two Stanley Cups with before being dealt last offseason. McDonagh is doing what Ryan McDonagh does on defense, blocking shots and killing penalties. The Preds currently have the 7th best penalty killing unit and McDonagh is their ice time leader shorthanded. He’s second on the team in blocks and has recently moved up to the top pair at even strength alongside Roman Josi. Expect to see him rack up big minutes against the Brayden Point line.

Meanwhile, the Lightning are coming off a fairly compete effort against the Flames, posting a one-goal against effort for the first time all season. For those worried about the demise of Andrei Vasilevskiy as a bona fide number one netminder, your concerns might have been a bit premature as he stopped 40 shots and posted 1.19 goals saved above expectation, his third best performance by that metric all season long.

Steven Stamkos picked up another goal as he looks to get back on track after his 10-game goalless drought and Nikita Kucherov scored on the power play (which managed to not give up a shorthanded goal, yay!)

The Bolts are on a three-game winning streak and are starting to show more consistency in their game then they have at any point in the season. While they were massively outshot by the Flames, they won the expected goals battle (56.76%) at even strength. That marks three games in a row where they’ve been over 50% in xGF%, the longest streak of the season. They are starting to limit the quality chances their opponents are getting while racking up more of their own.

Of course, the injury bug is threatening some of the cohesiveness that they were just starting to enjoy. Based on practice it looks like Erik Cernak should be back in the line-up, but Cole Koepke, Zach Bogosian, and Nick Perbix are all game-time decisions. If Koepke is out, we might see the debut of Rudolfs Balcers, who was picked up on waivers last week. He skated on the fourth line at Friday’s practice. There is a chance that Bogosian could be back as well as he’s been taking regular shifts in practice and was expected back before Thanksgiving.

Whoever is in the line-up tonight, they’re going to have to continue to focus on what the Lightning have been doing over the past week - limiting quality chances against, getting the puck out of the zone cleanly, and forcing their opponents to play in their own zone. They can’t worry about hosting the Bruins on Monday, just take care of business in Nashville tonight.

Comparison chart:

Tampa Bay Lightning Vs. Nashville Predators

Game #18 Tampa Bay Lightning Nashville Predators
Game #18 Tampa Bay Lightning Nashville Predators
Overall Record 10-6-1 8-8-1
Home Record 6-2-1 5-3-1
Road Record 4-4-0 3-5
Goals For 58 47
Goals Against 54 56
xGF 58.99 51.78
xGA 54.87 60
PP% 23.5% 15.9%
PK% 79.7% 82.5%
Stats via and

Tampa Bay Lightning Potential Lines

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 - Rudolfs Balcers

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Ian Cole

Haydn Fleury - Philippe Myers


Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

Lines and combinations based on Friday’s practice.

Nashville Predators Potential Lines

Forward Lines

Filip Forsberg - Jusso Parssinen - Mikael Ganlund

Eeli Tolvanen - Mark Jankowski - Tanner Jeannot

Nino Niederreiter - Ryan Johansen - Matt Duchene

Cole Smith - Colton Sissons - Michael McCarron

Defense Pairings

Ryan McDonagh - Roman Josi

Mattias Ekholm - Alexandre Carrier

Jeremy Lauzon - Dante Fabbro


Jusse Saros

Kevin Lankinen

Lines based on their previous game.