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Tampa Bay Lightning at Arizona Coyotes Preview and Game Day Thread

The Lightning make their last visit ever to the Gila River Arena

NHL: OCT 28 Coyotes at Lightning Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images a pass

Tampa Bay Lightning at Arizona Coyotes: GAME #49

Time: 9:30 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: ESPN+, BSSUN, BSAZ+

Opponent SBNation Site: Five for Howling

With the news of the Arizona Coyotes absconding to Tempe to play at Arizona State University’s multi-purpose arena in Tempe next season this will be the Lightning’s final game at Gila River Arena. Throughout the years they’ve posted a 7-5-0 record in the Coyotes’ second home, but on occasion have run into some tough losses.

It’s the second and final meeting between the two teams for this season with the Lightning having won 5-1 (Andrej Sustr scored!) back in October. It’s been a rough season for the Coyotes as they’ve struggled to a 12-31-4 record and are currently mired in a 3-7 rut over their last 10 games. With a win, they do have a chance to do something that they’ve only done twice this season - win consecutive games. They’ve yet to put together a three-game winning streak this year, but have four losing streaks of three or more games including an 11-game streak to start the season.

Scoring has been the biggest issue in the desert as their 2.21 goals per game is next to last in the league, and they are barely ahead of the Montreal Canadiens (2.20). In the midst of their struggles, Clayton Keller has been a bright spot with 39 points (17 goals, 22 assists) in 47 games. That production likely wins him the honor of being at the top of trade rumors list with young defenseman Jakob Chychrun.

They are in full rebuild mode and are likely listening to any and all offers for their players. That being said, they may have uncovered a goaltender to build around in Karel Vejmeika. The rookie from the Czech Republic has appeared in 29 games and won 7 games. He’s been really, really good in their wins posting a 1.84 GAA and .951 SV%. When he’s struggled, they’ve lost. Actually, they’ve also lost when he’s played well as evidenced by a 4-2 loss to Calgary in which he made 46 saves.

There is a good to great chance he’ll be in net as the Lightning roll into town trying to right the ship after their 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night. Nikita Kucherov scored in his return to the line-up and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 44 saves. Brian Elliott will likely start in his place after Vasy’s busy night. Elliott won his last start as he made 27 saves in a victory against the San Jose Sharks on January 22nd.

Other than that, the line-up should pretty much be the same as the injured blueliners continue their rehab. Darren Raddysh will be back in the rotation after he played 10:43 in the game against the Avalanche.

After the game, the Lightning will head back home and have a nice layoff, not playing again until Tuesday when they make up their postponed game against the New Jersey Devils.

Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lines

Forwards

Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Steven Stamkos

Pat Maroon - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Corey Perry

Mathieu Joseph - Ross Colton - Taylor Raddysh

Defense

Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta

Ryan McDonagh - Mikhail Sergachev

Darren Raddysh - Cal Foote

Goaltenders

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

Arizona Coyotes Projected Lines

Forwards

Clayton Keller - Travis Boyd - Nick Schmaltz

Lawson Crouse - Alex Galchenyuk - Phil Kessel

Andrew Ladd - Ryan Dzingel - Loui Eriksson

Antoine Roussel - Christian Fischer - Liam O’Brien

Defensemen

Shayne Gostisbehere - Dysin Mayo

Jakob Chychrun - Ilya Lyubushkin

Janis Moser - Anton Stralman

Goaltenders

Karel Vejmelka

Ivan Prosvetov

Lines based on Daily Face Off / Arizona’s last game