Avalanche at Lightning preview: A celebration and a reunion

There will be more fanfare tonight as the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate the 20th anniversary of Amalie Arena.

Colorado Avalanche at Tampa Bay Lightning: Game 4

Time: 7:30 P.M. Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL.

Broadcast/Streaming: Lightning Radio, Fox Sports Sun, Altitude Sports

Opponent SBNation Site: Mile High Hockey


Tonight’s matchup between the Colorado Avalanche and the Tampa Bay Lightning will be preceded by another celebration (former captain Vincent Lecavalier was welcomed home Tuesday in a ceremony), as the organization celebrates the 20th anniversary of Amalie Arena, originally named the Ice Palace:

As noted in the tweet, many guests significant to the Lightning will be in attendance - a reunion of sorts - for the celebration.

Upon conclusion of that, it’s time to get back to business. The Bolts have played three games thus far and have come from behind in each game for the win. Of those three games, the Bolts escaped their most recent one against the Florida Panthers by the narrowest of margins.

In fact, the game ended in a little bit of controversy when Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck was given credit for a shootout goal that most agree probably should not have counted.

As Trocheck skated in toward Bolts goaltender Ben Bishop, he lost handle of the puck before he was able to take the shot. After regathering the puck, he shot it into a wide open net as Ben Bishop made a halfhearted attempt at a save.

After some deliberation between the on-ice officials and League officials, it was determined the puck remained in a forward motion and the goal was allowed.

The point would become moot just a few moments later, though, as Brayden Point notched his first NHL game-winner.

There were positives that came out of Tuesday’s game with the Cats, including the fact the Lightning were 3 for 3 on the penalty kill and didn’t have to rally from a two-goal deficit for the first time this season.

If the Lightning want to be successful in their last game of this homestand and keep the winning streak alive, they must get a handle on puck possession for all 60 minutes.

The Colorado Avalanche come into this game with a 2-1-0 record, starting off the season with a two-game winning streak before getting trounced by the Washington Capitals on the second half of a back-to-back. It is a cliché statement to make, but the Avs will almost certainly be out to prove that loss was a fluke.

Some things to look for tonight:

  • After some digging on Hockey Reference, GeoFitz4 noted Tyler Johnson is one goal away from tying the record for most goals against the Colorado Avalanche in a Lightning uniform. He currently has five.
  • The power play was a sore spot for the Bolts against the Florida Panthers, going 0 for 3. The Panthers certainly deserve credit there; the Lightning were hardly able to get set up in the offensive zone, let alone generate any sustained pressure with the man-advantage. Will that change tonight?
  • Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon, who were teammates in the QMJHL with the Halifax Mooseheads, will reunite tonight. Last time these two teams met, Drouin was just breaking into the League and was playing fourth line minutes. Now, he is playing alongside Steven Stamkos on the first line.
  • Alex Killorn comes into this game with a three-game goal streak./

Comparison chart:

Due to Patrick Roy’s departure as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche during the recent offseason, today’s opponent is playing under a new coaching staff and new system. Therefore, last season’s numbers don’t have any bearing on the results of this game.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Ondrej Palat  - Steven Stamkos  - Jonathan Drouin

Alex Killorn  - Tyler Johnson  - Nikita Kucherov

Vladislav Namestnikov - Valtteri Filppula - Brayden Point

Cedric Paquette  - Brian Boyle  - J.T. Brown

Defence Pairings

Victor Hedman  - Anton Stralman

Jason Garrison  - Andrej Sustr

Braydon Coburn, Nikita Nesterov and Matt Taormina rotating through


Ben Bishop

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Colorado Avalanche

Forward Lines

Gabriel Landeskog – Nathan MacKinnon – Jarome Iginla

Mikhail Grigorenko – Carl Soderberg – Matt Duchene

Gabriel Bourque – Joe Colborne – Rene Bourque

Andreas Martinsen – Ben Smith – Blake Comeau

Defence Pairings

Nikita Zadorov – Erik Johnson

Francois Beauchemin – Tyson Barrie

Fedor Tyutin – Patrick Wiercioch


Semyon Varlamov

Calvin Pickard

Line information will be updated in the Game Day Thread.