Chicago Blackhawks at Tampa Bay Lightning Preview and Game Day Thread
The Bolts look to regain some confidence against one of the worst teams in the league
Chicago Blackhawks at Tampa Bay Lightning: GAME #65
Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Amalie Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, NBCSCH, HULU, ESPN+
Opponent SBNation Site: Second City Hockey
As it became a tradition in recent weeks, the Tampa Bay Lightning are playing another set of back-to-back games this weekend. It’s starting today with a game against the Chicago Blackhawks and continues tomorrow, when the Winnipeg Jets arrive to Tampa. With those two games, the Bolts are also finishing their four-game homestand.
Meanwhile, the Lightning’s slump is still continuing. After a strong showing against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, the Bolts fell to the Vegas Golden Knights in overtime on Thursday in previous game. Therefore the Lightning are 3-4-3 in their last ten games and four points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second place in the standings.
Despite a disappointing result against Vegas, the Bolts showed some promising effort at the end of the third period, making up a two-goal deficit and sending the game in the overtime. No surprise that it was Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov, who led the Bolts in the late stages of Thursday’s game: Kucherov has six points in his latest two games, while Point recorded 4 points in the same amount of games, also scoring his 41st goal of the regular season and tying his career high result. Mikhail Sergachev is another player, who stepped up in Victor Hedman’s absence, scoring four assists in two latest game.
Speaking of Hedman, a Lightning defenceman is still listed as day-to-day and missed two straight games after suffering an upper-body against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare is also out of the line-up with a lower body injury. Haydn Fleury filled in the vacant spot on the Lightning’s blue line in two previous games, while Darren Raddysh remained as the healthy scratch. With the Lightning playing the much stronger Winnipeg tomorrow, it’s fair to expect Brian Elliott between the pipes tonight.
The Blackhawks, who oppose the Bolts tonight, have undergone some significant changes since their last meeting in January. The team were very active at this year’s trade deadline, parting ways with many players, including Patrick Kane, who was traded to the New York Rangers, Max Domi, who ended up in Dallas or Sam Lafferty and Jake McCabe, who was sent to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Blackhawks are also dealing with lots of injuries and health issues, amongst players on the injured reserve is their captain Jonathan Toews, who may not play again this season due to long COVID issues.
Due to all of this, the Blackhawks already dressed 39 players this season. A Lightning fan will see many familiar faces, including Taylor Raddysh, who is leading active players on the Blackhawks roster with 16 goals, Tyler Johnson and Boris Katchouk. A former Lightning prospect Cole Guttman also made his NHL debut this regular season and already appeared in 13 games with Chicago, scoring four goals and one assist.
The Blackhawks have been of the worst teams in the NHL this season. They’re in the bottom of the league in most categories and dead last in the Central Division. They’re 4-5-1 in their last ten games and entering tonight matchup with two consecutive losses against the Detroit Red Wings and the Florida Panthers.
Chicago Blackhawks at Tampa Bay Lightning Comparison
|Game # 66||Tampa Bay Lightning||Chicago Blackhawks|
Tampa Bay Lightning Potential Lines
Steven Stamkos - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Brandon Hagel - Anthony Cirelli - Alex Killorn
Ross Colton - Nick Paul - Tanner Jeannot
Pat Maroon - Michael Eyssimont - Corey Perry
Ian Cole - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Nick Perbix
Haydn Fleury - Zach Bogosian
Chicago Blackhawks Potential Lines
Lukas Reichel - Philipp Kurashev - Andreas Athanasiou
Tyler Johnson - Cole Guttman - Taylor Raddysh
Anders Bjork - Jason Dickinson - Mackenzie Entwistle
Boris Katchouk - Jujhar Khaira - Joey Anderson
Caleb Jones - Seth Jones
Jarred Tinordi - Nikita Zaitsev
Filip Roos - Ian Mitchell