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Tampa Bay Lightning at Calgary Flames Preview and Game Day Thread

The Bolts face a Pacific Division leader

Calgary Flames v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning at Calgary Flames: Game 57

Time: 9:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Scotiabank Saddledome

Broadcast/Streaming: ESPN+, BSSUN, SNW

Opponent SBNation Site: Matchsticks & Gasoline

After a loss in a high-scoring game against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Lightning are continuing their road trip to Western Canada. The stats have been on the Lightning’s side so far and they still haven’t had a regulation loss in two back-to-back game since the start of the season. It won’t be that easy to keep the streak going this time though as the Bolts face the current leader of the Pacific Division and one of the best offensive teams in the NHL — the Calgary Flames.

In the previous game the Lightning had been dragged down by a slow start and very poor game in front of Andrei Vasilevskiy, who had a solid game despite letting in five goals and kept them until the third period. On the other side Zach Bogosian, who has just returned after recovering from lower body injury, had a pretty tough game, as his defensive pair with Mikhail Sergachev were constantly outplayed by the Jets.

Meanwhile the Flames have solidified themselves at the top of the Central Division. They’re currently five points clear of second-placed Los Angeles Kings with two games in hand. That’s a great foundation for a team, who will try to advance past the first round of playoffs for the first time since the 2014-15 season.

The Flames’ record since the start of February is quite impressive as they’ve won 13 out 16 games during that span, although they’ve lost their previous game against the Washington Capitals.

Johnny Gaudreau is leading his team in points with 74 (23+51) of them in 56 games. After couple of relatively average seasons, he has finally found an offensive spark and is on pace for the most productive season in his career. The Flames are also one of the few teams who have four different players with 20+ goals, apart from Gaudreau, these players are Matthew Tkachuk, Elias Lindholm and Andrew Mangiapane. Not a surprise that the Flames are the best team in the league in creating dangerous situations in front of the opposite side’s net.

The Lightning defeated the Flames 4-1 in their first meeting of the season in early January. It was the first game for Nikita Kucherov since recovering from his injury, which sidelined him for three months. He celebrated his return with two primary assists in that game, including an assist on a game-winning goal by Brayden Point in the second period.

Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lines

Forwards

Anthony Cirelli - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - Alex Killorn

Pat Maroon - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Corey Perry

Mathieu Joseph - Ross Colton - Taylor Raddysh

Defense

Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Zach Bogosian

Goaltenders

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

Calgary Flames Projected Lines

Forwards

Johnny Gaudreau - Elias Lindholm - Matthew Tkachuk

Blake Coleman - Mikael Backlund - Trevor Lewis

Andrew Mangiapane - Adam Ruzicka - Tyler Toffoli

Milan Lucic - Sean Monahan - Dillon Dube

Defense

Noah Hanifin - Rasmus Andersson

Oliver Kylington - Christopher Tanev

Nikita Zadorov - Erik Gudbranson

Goaltenders

Jacob Markstrom

Dan Vladar