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Tampa Bay Lightning at Calgary Flames Preview and Game Day Thread

The last game of a road trip

Calgary Flames v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning at Calgary Flames: GAME #45

Time: 3:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Scotiabank Saddledome

Broadcast/Streaming: CBC, TVAS, SN, BSSUN

Opponent SBNation Site: Matchsticks & Gasoline

Despite a loss to the Edmonton Oilers in the previous game, the Tampa Bay Lightning could already consider their current road trip as solid. In their four games on the road, the Bolts earned three wins, outscoring their opponents 16-10 during that frame. Tonight the Lightning make their last stop before returning to Tampa Bay in Calgary.

The Calgary Flames cannot claim the same recent record as the Lightning. Out of six of their latest games, the Flames lost four times, including their two previous games against the Nashville Predators and the Colorado Avalanche. In those two games, Calgary scored just twice, which is a bad sign ahead of the game against one of best offensive teams in the NHL such as the Lightning.

After winning their division last season, the current season has been more of a disappointment for the Flames. They still have quite a big chances to make playoffs and are currently tied for the last wild card spot in the Western Conference with the Avalanche, but that still seems like a step back after such a successful 2021-22 regular season. Obviously, Calgary have been impacted by departure of their leaders Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau, while Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazem Kadri haven't really lived up to expectations yet. If Kadri is still having a decent season, being third-best player in points on Calgary roster, Huberdeau is on pace for just 57 points this season, which would be the first time in five recent seasons when he didn’t break a point-per-game mark.

At 5-on-5 Calgary is still one of the best teams in the NHL. They’re second in the league with 55.32 CF% and sixth with 53.67 xGF%, right behind the Lightning. They also have quite a solid penalty unit, which ranks sixth in the NHL with 82.10 PK%, but their power play is way lower, converting just 19.86 % of their power play opportunities. The team is clearly struggling with finishing this season, which is why Calgary is lagging behind, despite a decent performance at 5-on-5.

That will be the second game between two teams this season. Last November the Lightning defeated the Flames 4-1 at Amalie Arena in a game where Nikita Kucherov scored two goals, including a game-winning goal on the power play in the second period.

Comparison chart:

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Calgary Flames Comparison

Game # 45 Tampa Bay Lightning Calgary Flames
Game # 45 Tampa Bay Lightning Calgary Flames
Overall Record 29-14-1 21-16-9
Home Record 17-4-1 12-8-2
Road Record 12-10-0 9-8-7
Goals For 159 140
Goals Against 128 136
xGF 151.76 149.95
xGA 138.52 130.97
PP% 28.2% 19.9%
PK% 80.7% 82.1%

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

Calgary Flames Potential Lines

Forward Lines

Dillon Dube - Elias Lindholm - Tyler Toffoli

Milan Lucic - Nazem Kadri - Jonathan Huberdeau

Andrew Mangiapane - Mikael Backlund - Blake Coleman

Trevor Lewis - Adam Ruzicka - Walker Duehr

Defense Pairings

Noah Hanifin - Rasmus Andersson

Chris Tanev - Mackenzie Weegar

Nikita Zadorov - Michael Stone

Goaltenders

Jacob Markstrom

Dan Vladar