After Brian Elliott put up a valiant effort against seven Edmonton Oilers power plays, Andrei Vasilevskiy has been confirmed to be getting the start tonight for the Lightning. They are coming to play a Vancouver team that hasn’t had to travel in a week or play a game since Friday, so right off the bat they have the upper hand. Their starting goalie, Thatcher Demko has a .916 save percentage this season, and has been in especially good form recently winning six of his last seven starts.
#tblightning Jon Cooper said Brian Elliott is in tonight, which means Vasilevskiy starts Sunday in Vancouver. Cooper is not sure on lineup yet as he said one player had been “hobbling around.” I know Maroon was gingerly walking out of arena last game, so something to watch.— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) March 12, 2022
The Lightning’s offense only put up one goal against the Oilers last night, as well as only one against the Flames a few nights back. They need to pick up the pace, because even when the goaltending does its job, the offense isn’t there to get the win. However, coming into the second half of a back-to-back with some injured players makes it difficult. It’s unclear whether there will be any lineup changes tonight, we won’t know until later in the afternoon with the pre-game skate or right before the game at warmups.
The one scratch for the Lightning last night was defender Cal Foote. Boris Katchouk is on a conditioning loan with the Syracuse Crunch at the moment so he’s unavailable to play. Expect Foote to get into the lineup tonight as the team tries to keep everyone fresh. If a forward needs to come out, they’ll go 11/7.
There is the possibility the team if there are multiple players out they could play short (17 skaters dressed) for a game and then get an emergency exemption brought in for the game against Seattle. Because the team is maxed out on cap space and unable to send anyone down unless through waivers, that is their only way forward.
Lightning Lines (from last night)
Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn - Steven Stamkos - Anthony Cirelli
Mathieu Joseph - Ross Colton - Taylor Raddysh
Pat Maroon - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Corey Perry
Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh - Zach Bogosian
Mikhail Sergachev - Erik Cernak
OUT: Cal Foote (scratched)
Andrei Vasilevskiy - confirmed starter
The Canucks have been playing well of late. After a slump in February when their quality of play was pretty bad, they’ve turned it around with positive shot share and chances on most nights. When the team was doing more poorly, talks about former Bolt JT Miller being traded were louder. Now they’re winning some games, those questions are getting pushback. The Canucks also have former Bolt (and Stanley Cup Champion) Luke Schenn on defense.
Canucks Lines (from last game)
Tanner Pearson - JT Miller - Brock Boeser
Nils Höglander - Elias Pettersson - Conor Garland
Vasili Podkolzin - Bo Horvat - Alex Chiasson
Tyler Motte - Juho Lammikko - Matthew Highmore
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Tyler Myers
Quinn Hughes - Luke Schenn
Brad Hunt - Travis Hamonic
Thatcher Demko - confirmed starter