Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning Preview and Game Day Thread

Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning Preview and Game Day Thread
Brayden Point. Photo Courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning via their Twitter (@TBLightning)

Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning: GAME #81

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

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

Opponent's Site: Winging it in Motown

First of all, congratulations to everyone reading this preview. You did it. We did it. We survived the regular season. Seven months, 82 games, countless senseless turnovers, many memorable Steven Stamkos milestones, and 112 Nikita Kucherov points later we are at the finish line for the regular season. After tonight the real fun starts.

Unlike a host of other teams playing tonight, the Tampa Bay Lightning are a playoff-bound team with nothing to gain or lose tonight. Sure, they would love to finish on a high note and not a five-game losing streak, but in the end it doesn't really matter. Whatever the outcome, the Lightning will be on a plane to Toronto at some point this weekend to kick off a highly-contested series with the Maple Leafs.

That being said their are some individual achievements that the Lightning can accomplish tonight if they turn on the offense. First and foremost, Brayden Point has a chance to join Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier as the only players to score 50 goals in a season as a member of the Lightning. As he's currently sitting on 49 goals expect his linemates to keep feeding him the puck every time he's on the ice.

Speaking of his linemmates, Brandon Hagel has already set a career high in goals with 29, but 30 would be a nice round number to finish with. After a slow start and despite diminished power play time, Victor Hedman has a chance to break the 50 point barrier for the seventh time in his career. The only other Lightning defenseman to do it multiple times in their career in Tampa Bay was Dan Boyle with three 50+ point seasons.

Chasing individual glory isn't normally something the Lightning concern themselves with, but with absolutely nothing riding on this game, why the heck not?

On the other side, the Red Wings have been out of the playoff hunt for a little while, but they still have something to play for. They enter tonight's action with 80 points and a 35-36-10. It's the highest point total they've had since the 2015-16 season, which was also the last time they finished with a better than .500 record. They could reach that break even point with a win tonight.

It's a bit of a patchwork line-up for them as injuries have plagued the team all season long. Captain Dylan Larkin is day-to-day and may return to the line-up after missing several games due to injury.

Tampa Bay Lightning Potential Lines


Brandon Hagel - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Steven Stamkos - Nick Paul - Alex Killorn

Ross Colton - Anthony Cirelli - Michael Eyssimont

Patrick Maroon (?) - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Corey Perry


Victor Hedman - Nick Perbix

Mikhail Sergachev - Darren Raddysh

Ian Cole - Erik Cernak


Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

Detroit Red Wings Potential Lines


Dominik Kubalik - Andrew Copp - David Perron

Jonatan Berggren - Pius Suter - Lucas Raymond

Jordan Oesterle - Joe Velano - Matt Luff

Taro Hirose - Austin Czarnik - Alex Chiasson


Jake Walman - Moritz Seider

Olli Maatta - Ben Chiarot

Robert Hagg - Gustav Lindstrom


Alex Nedeljkovic

Ville Husso