Time: 10:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Rogers Place
Broadcast/Streaming: ESPN+, CBC, SN, SN360, CIT, BSSUN
Opponent SBNation Site: Copper And Blue
The current trip to Western Canada isn’t going very well for the Tampa Bay Lightning, but frankly no one expected this to be an easy trip. The Bolts stumbled against the Winnipeg Jets and the Calgary Flames, losing two consecutive game in regulation for the first time this season. However, suffering their first back-to-back regulation losses after 57 games into regular season is still a record-breaking achievement.
The players and the coaching staff have showed their concerns about the Lightning’s current performance. They improved in the previous game, comparing to the game against the Jets, but it wasn’t enough — once again their slow start put them in danger, while poor puck management and lack of execution led them to a unsatisfying result. The power play wasn’t working either and has remained silent during this road trip, despite having eight opportunities. The coaching staff also tried to return to their old tactic of bringing in extra defenceman, instead of 12th forward.
The Edmonton Oilers, the Lightning’s tonight’s opponent, isn’t having their best stretch of the season either. They’ve won their previous game against the Washington Capitals, but lost three games in a row prior to this. Both teams had a chance to learn about their opponents not that long ago, as they’ve met in a game at Amalie Arena on February 23. The Lightning won that game, but that game was close as Oilers put them under a lot of pressure.
Unlike the Lightning, the Oilers should still worry about their playoff spot: they’re currently fourth in the Pacific Division, two points behind the Vegas Golden Knights with two games in hand, while the Vancouver Canucks are just one point behind Edmonton.
The injury situation isn’t helping the Oilers. Their third-leading scorer Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been out since the end of February due to shoulder injury and still is in week-to-week category. Jesse Puljujarvi, Kris Russell haven’t played since mid-February and were placed on IR, while Tyson Barrie and Josh Archibald are both currently day-to-day. Zach Kassian has recently returned to the line-up, but still playing with a full face shield after taking a puck into his face earlier this week.
Tonight’s game will be also the Lightning’s first game at Rogers Place since winning the 2020 Stanley Cup in this venue.
Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lines
Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn- Anthony Cirelli - Steven Stamkos
Pat Maroon - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Corey Perry
Mathieu Joseph - Ross Colton
Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Zach Bogosian
Edmonton Oilers Projected Lines
Evander Kane - Connor McDavid - Kailer Yamamoto
Ryan McLeod - Leon Draisaitl - Zach Hyman
Warren Foegele - Devin Shore - Derek Ryan
Josh Archibald - Brad Malone - Zach Kassian
Darnell Nurse - Cody Ceci
Duncan Keith - Evan Bouchard
Philip Broberg - Tyson Barrie