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Canadiens at Lightning preview and GDT: Why not start a winning streak tonight?

Nov 7, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens goalie Sam Montembeault (35) stops Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) during the second period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Game #38 – Montreal Canadiens (15-15-5) at Tampa Bay Lightning (17-15-5)
Time: 7:00 PM EST
Location: Amalie Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, ESPN+, Hulu

Opponent’s Site: Habs’ Eyes on the Prize


After a good start to this important six game stretch the Tampa Bay Lightning have stumbled a bit as they’ve dropped games to the Panthers and Rangers. A win tonight would leave them with a 4-2 record over the stretch and they would hit the road with a little confidence. A loss would leave them at .500 over the six games and bemoaning more desperately needed points left on the table.

As it sits right now, the Lightning are a point behind the Capitals for the second wild card spot and two points behind the Leafs for the third spot in the Atlantic Division. Unfortunately all of the teams they are chasing have games in hand on the Bolts, so in reality you have to tack on another point for each of those spots. The schedule will even up a bit in January as the Lightning have only 12 games (no back-to-backs) and stretches of four days off (14th-17th) and ten days off (January 28th-February 6th) so they need to start picking up points when they play.

Speaking of back-to-backs, both teams going tonight are in the midst of one. The Lightning lost to the Rangers last night while the Canadiens lost, 4-1, to the Panthers. Their lone goal came on the power play and was supplied by Cole Caufield, his 9th of the season. Offense has been a bit of an issue for the Habs as they rank 27th in the league with 2.74 goals per game.

On the road they’ve scored slightly better (2.76/game) but their defense has been notably better as they’ve allowed 3.18 goals per game away from home compared to the 3.56/game at the Bell Centre. In net they’ve used they goaltenders with Sam Montembault getting 14 starts, Jake Allen 13, and Cayden Primeau 8. Allen went last night and Primeau had started the previous two.

Nick Suzuki leads the way offensively with 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists) in 35 games while defenseman Mike Matheson somewhat surprisingly is second on the team with 26 points (6 goals, 20 assists).

The Bolts have to shake off last night’s loss, a game in which they played fairly well for much of it, and find a way to keep their mistakes out of their net. Even after adjusting for score effects, the Lightning led the game in shot attempts and scoring chances at 5v5. Overall, they held the Rangers to just 39 shot attempts total while putting up 78. They had their chances, they just didn’t finish them.

As for Mikhail Sergachev, he’s likely to be a game-time decision. The same may go for Conor Sheary as he was a little banged up in the Ranger’s game (a cut to the Lightning bench during the broadcast showed him getting a finger taped up after a hit along the boards by Jacob Trouba).

There is still plenty of season left to play and playoff spots are well within grasp so there is no reason to write this team off. We’ve seen what they can do when they limit the costly mistakes and the talent is there on the ice. So why not start a winning streak tonight?

Stats Match-up

Game #38Tampa Bay LightningMontreal Canadiens
Overall Record17-15-515-15-5
Home Record10-5-37-9-2
Road Record7-10-28-6-3
Goals For12199
Goals Against128121
Power Play29.7%18.4%
Penalty Kill79.6%71.9%
Stats via NHL and Natural Stat Trick


Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lines

Nick Paul – Brayden Point – Nikita Kucherov
Brandon Hagel – Anthony Cirelli – Steven Stamkos
Tanner Jeannot – Luke Gendening – Mikey Eyssimont

Conor Sheary – Tyler Motte – Alex BarrĂ©-Boulet

Victor Hedman – Nick Perbix
Mikhail Sergachev (?)/ Haydn Fleury – Erik Cernak
Calvin de Haan – Darren Raddysh

Jonas Johansson

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Lines based on the start of the game last night. They were jumbled around during the game, and with no morning skate we won’t know what they’ll look like until the pre-game skates.

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lines

Cole Caufield – Nick Suzuki – Juraj Slafkovsky

Sean Monahan – Jake Evans – Josh Anderson

Joel Armia – Christian Dvorak – Brendan Gallagher

Michael Pezzetta – Mitchell Stephens – Jesse Ylonen


Michael Matheson – David Savard

Kaiden Guhle – Justin Barron

Jayden Struble – Josh Harris


Cayden Primeau

Jake Allen

Question of the Night

When will the real Lightning show up?

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