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Devils at Pirates…err Lightning Preview: Gasparilla Edition

Mar 19, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Timo Meier (96) and Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports

Game #50
Time: 7:00 PM EST
Location: Amalie Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, ESPN+, HULU

Opponent’s Site: All About the Jersey

Preview

The Lightning finish up their pre-all-star break portion of their schedule by hosting Ondrej Palat and the New Jersey Devils. They’ll hope to do it right by running their home-win streak to seven games in a row and overall winning streak to three games. Offense has been the key as they’ve scored 29 times in their six home wins.

As you can imagine, Nikita Kucherov leads the way with 13 points (2 goals, 11 assists) while Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos lead the way with 4 goals a piece. It’s nice to see that the defense is chipping in as the blueliners have chipped in 7 goals. In fact, the offense is coming from pretty much everywhere as 15 different skaters have at least one goal and 19 players have at least one point.

In net, Vasilevskiy has been solid with a .904 SV% and 2.37 GAA while posting a -0.71 GSAx. While those numbers are slightly below his career numbers, he is making saves at key times and has been getting better as the season is moving along.

They run into a Devils team that is scuffling along a little bit as they are 3-6 in their last 9 games with 27 goals scored. That number is a bit stilted considered 6 of their goals came in a win against the Golden Knights. Their offensive struggles are likely to continue as wunderkind Jack Hughes is out of the line-up with an injury. He joins key pieces Dougie Hamilton and Tomas Nosek who are on IR.

Despite their struggles they are still hanging around a wild card spot with 51 points in 46 games, so it continues the Lightning’s stretch of games against Eastern Conference foes that they are battling for position. Right now the Bolts are hanging on to that third spot in the Atlantic, but the Leafs are only one point behind with 3 games in hand while the Red Wings are two points behind with one game in hand.

Coach Cooper mentioned that the Bolts really don’t have a lot of wiggle room to play with thanks to their early struggles to accrue points. So, why not head into the break with two more points. It should be quite a festive atmosphere at Amalie thanks to the Gasparilla parade and festivities earlier in the day.

Stats Match-up

Game #50Tampa Bay LightningNew Jersey Devils
Overall Record26-18-524-19-3
Home Record16-5-310-11-2
Road Record10-13-214-8-1
Goals For169158
Goals Against161162
xGF155.92150.40
xGA152.84141.75
Power Play30.5%25.9%
Penalty Kill80.9%77.0%
Last 10 Games8-2-04-5-1
Stats via ESPN and Natural Stat Trick

Lines

Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lines

Forwards
Steven Stamkos – Brayden Point – Nikita Kucherov
Brandon Hagel – Anthony Cirelli – Nick Paul
Mikey Eyssimont – Tyler Motte – Conor Sheary

Mitchell Chaffee – Luke Glendening – Waltteri Merelä

Defenders
Victor Hedman – Darren Raddysh
Calvin de Haan – Nick Perbix
Emil Lilleberg – Max Crozier

Goalies
Andrei Vasilevskiy

Jonas Johansson

New Jersey Devils Projected Lines

Forwards
Timo Meier – Nico Hischier – Jesper Bratt

Tyler Toffoli – Dawson Mercer – Ondrej Palat

Curtis Lazar – Erik Haula – Nathan Bastian

Justin Dowling – Chris Tierney – Alexander Holtz

Defenders
Kevin Bahl – Simon Nemec

Luke Hughes – John Marino

Santeri Hatakka – Colin Miller

Goalies
Nico Daws

Vitek Vanecek

Question of the Night

Can we get another rookie goal tonight?

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