Anaheim Ducks at Tampa Bay Lightning Preview and Game Day Thread

Lightning look to get back on track with a short home stand

Anaheim Ducks at Tampa Bay Lightning: GAME #56

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, BSSC, ESPN+, HULU

Opponent Site: Anaheim Ducks NHL Site

DraftKings Line: Lightning -1.5 O/U 6.5


The Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t have a bad road trip. After all they are coming back with more points earned (5) than games played (4) which is the Jon Cooper standard for a “good” trip away. However, there is the feeling it could have been better. It started off great with wins against Dallas and Colorado. The shootout loss to Arizona felt like a point left behind, even though there were plenty of signs that it could be a tough night. Whatever the Vegas game was....well it was weird.

Now they are back at home, a place where they have excelled at, against an opponent that has struggled at home, on the road, in Canada, on the moon, wherever. The Ducks are also on the second half of a Florida of a back-to-back having lost in overtime to the Florida Panthers on Monday afternoon.

Anaheim has a lot of young talent already on the roster in Trevor Zegras, Mason McTavish, and Max Jones. Unfortunately there is also some talent on the injured reserve list in Jamie Drysdale and Troy Terry. The future also holds some potential for the Ducks as The Athletic has them ranked 8th in their prospect ratings with two of the top defensive prospects in the CHL in Pavel Mintyukov and Owen Zellweger.  So good times are almost here for Southern California hockey fans. They just have to get through the rough times right now.

They are rolling into Tampa on a 5-game losing streak (only a win against Chicago keeps that from being a 7-game streak) and the defense has been a problem as they’ve averaged 30 goals against in those games. That’s been a trend all season long as they have allowed a league-worst 4.16 goals against per game. Give them credit as they’ve allowed 4.16 goals on the road and 4.15 at home, so they are at least consistently bad defensively.

As you can imagine, goaltending has been an issue. Starter John Gibson (who made 51 saves yesterday against Florida) is 10-23-6 with a 4.07 GAA, an .898 SV%, and a -1.34 Goals Saved Above Expectation. That’s tough. For most of the season Anthony Stolarz has been the back-up with a 5-6-0 record, 3.73 GAA, .899 SV%, and 2.23 GSAx. However, he’s currently out of the line-up so the Lightning will likely face Lukas Dostral, a 2018 3rd-round pick who is 2-4-1 with a 3.99 GAA, .899 SV%, and 1.46 GSAx.

The defense is patched together with Drysdale and Urho Vaakanainen on injured reserve. None of the pairs as currently constructed are above water in scoring chances, goals for percentage, or high-danger chances. It’s going to be interesting to see how they finish off the season if they move any of their defensive pieces at the deadline.

Tampa Bay should be able to get their offense rolling again tonight against the struggling ducks. Hopefully they can also pot a power play goal or two against a team that has 73.4% success rate against man-advantages this year while taking a league-high 4.82 penalties a game.

Erik Cernak is still a question mark having missed the last two games with an undisclosed injury. [Update - Cernak did participate in the morning skate.] Other than that, they are fairly healthy and we should see pretty much the same lines we’ve seen all year long.

Comparison chart:

Anaheim Ducks at Tampa Bay Lightning Comparison

Game #56Tampa Bay LightningAnaheim Ducks
Overall Record35-17-317-33-7
Home Record21-4-29-16-1
Road Record14-13-18-17-6
Goals For195144
Goals Against162240

Tampa Bay Lightning Potential Lines

Forward Lines

Brandon Hagel - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Anthony Cirelli - Steven Stamkos - Alex Killorn

Ross Colton - Nick Paul - Pat Maroon

Vlad Namestnikov - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Corey Perry

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Zach Bogosian

Mikhail Sergachev - Erik Cernak

Ian Cole - Nick Perbix


Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

Anaheim Ducks Potential Lines

Forward Lines

Derek Grant - Trevor Zegras - Ryan Strome

Adam Henrique - Mason McTavish - Frank Vatrano

Max Jones - Isac Lundstrom - Jakob Silfverberg

Maxime Comtois - Jayson Megna - Sam Carrick

Defense Pairings

Cam Fowler - Dmitri Kulikov

Nathan Beaulieu - John Klingberg

Simon Benoit - Kevin Shattenkirk


Lukas Dostral

John Gibson