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Tampa Bay Lightning at Edmonton Oilers Preview and Game Day Thread

There will be some offensive talent on the ice tonight

NHL: FEB 23 Oilers at Lightning Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning at Edmonton Oilers: GAME #44

Time: 9:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Rogers Place

Broadcast/Streaming: ESPN, SNW

Opponent SBNation Site: Copper and Blue

DraftKings Line: Lightning -1.5 O/U 6.5

Congratulations to all of y’all that stayed up last night to watch Steven Stamkos achieve another milestone in his career as he put home career goal number 500. With that wait over the Lightning offense seemingly had a slight burden lifted off of their soldiers as they quickly struck for three more goals in the first period against the reeling Vancouver Canucks. The Captain ended up with a hat trick and the Lightning with a 5-2 victory.

Hopefully, they didn’t stay out too late celebrating the goal or their five-game winning streak as they are right back on the ice to take on the the equally hot Edmonton Oilers who have won their last four games. The Oilers are doing what they do, scoring goals, as they have potted 22 goals in those four wins. Yes, 13 of those came against the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks, but Edmonton also picked up solid wins against teams they’re chasing in the standings in the Seattle Kraken and Vegas Golden Knights.

Connor McDavid is leading the way with 12 points (6 goals, 6 assists) during an eight-game point streak. His running mate, Leon Draisaitl, has a four-game streak of his own where he’s put up 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists). They are boosted on the top line by the return of Evander Kane, who played in their last game, a 5-2 win over the Kraken. It was his first game action since suffering a deep laceration to his wrist the last time the Lightning played the Oilers back in November, a 3-2 win for Edmonton.

It’s not just McDavid and Draisaitl though. The Oilers have two other players with 20 or more goals (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zach Hyman) as they look to unload the pressure from their dynamic duo.

As for the Lightning, they’ve started their five-game road trip with three victories (meeting Jon Cooper’s desire to come back home with more points than games played). They’ve now scored 4 or more goals in 5 straight games (all wins) as the offense is clicking. Stamkos’ hat trick ran his point streak to 6 games, Brandon Hagel is riding a 5-game streak, while Brayden Point picked up his 13th point in his last 10 games (7 goals, 6 assists). Nikita Kucherov picked up another assist to bring his total on the season to 46 - which ties him McDavid for the league lead.

So, yeah, there is quite a bit of offense on the ice. While the Oilers are slightly more explosive offensively, the Lightning have the distinct advantage in net. Andrei Vasilevskiy has found his groove and will be back in net tonight as he looks to join Ken Dryden as the only netminders in NHL history to pick up their 250th win in less than 400 games played.

Since December 1st, Vasilevskiy has posted a 1.93 GAA, .931 SV%, and a 11.28 GSAx. Not too shabby. Over that same time frame the Oilers have split time between Jack Campbell (11 games) and Stuart Skinner (14 games) with both of them putting up okay numbers. Skinner is likely to start tonight and he has a .914 SV%, 3.00 GAA, and 6.21 GSAx. Campbell is sitting at a 2.61 GAA, .901 SV% and a -2.44 GSAx.

The loss of Ryan Murray and Oscar Klefbom, weakened an already suspect defensive unit for the Oilers. Without a superstar goaltender to bail them out they have allowed 150 goals on the season and their 3.26 GA/GP is 20th in the league. Only the fact that they score 3.67 GF/GP, third in the league, has allowed them to stay in the Pacific Division race.

If you manage to stay up tonight, expect to see some goals.

Comparison chart:

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Edmonton Oilers Comparison

Game #44 Tampa Bay Lightning Edmonton Oilers
Game #44 Tampa Bay Lightning Edmonton Oilers
Overall Record 29-13-1 25-18-3
Home Record 17-4-1 11-11-2
Road Record 12-9-0 14-7-1
Goals For 157 169
Goals Against 124 151
xGF 148.51 160.81
xGA 134.38 146.03
PP% 28.6% 30.7%
PK% 80.9% 74.3%
Stats via NHL and Natural Stat Trick

Tampa Bay Lightning Potential Lines

Forward Lines

Brandon Hagel - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Steven Stamkos - Anthony Cirelli - Alex Killorn

Ross Colton - Nick Paul - Patrick Maroon

Vlad Namestnikov - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Corey Perry

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Zach Bogosian

Ian Cole - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Cal Foote

Goaltenders

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

Edmonton Oilers Potential Lines

Forward Lines

Evander Kane - Connor McDavid - Leon Draisaitl

Klim Kostin - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Mattias Janmark

Warren Foegele - Devin Shore - Zach Hyman

Dylan Holloway - Ryan McLeod - Derek Ryan

Defense Pairings

Darnell Nurse - Cody Ceci

Brett Kulak - Tyson Barrie

Philip Broberg - Evan Bouchard

Goalies

Stuart Skinner

Jack Campbell