Los Angeles Kings at Tampa Bay Lightning Preview and Game Day Thread
The Lightning look to break a franchise record for the most consecutive home wins in a row.
Los Angeles Kings at Tampa Bay Lightning: GAME #48
Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Amalie Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, BSW, Hulu, ESPN+
Opponent SBNation Site: Jewels from the Crown
Just a short while ago no one would have expected the Los Angeles Kings to be on top of their division as the team seemed to still be in early stages of their rebuilding. But here we are, halfway through the 2022-23 regular season and the Kings are leading the Pacific Division after beating the Florida Panthers last night and extending their winning strike to three games. Sure, they played more games comparing to their divisional rivals, but that still is an impressive achievement in a competitive Pacific Division.
That said, the Tampa Bay Lightning are still a tough opponent to beat, especially at home, where the Bolts are the second-best team in the league by point percentage. After a win over the league-leading Boston Bruins on Thursday, the Lightning also tied their franchise record from the 2019-20 for most home wins in a row with 11 of them and looking to set a new milestone for the organization.
According to their latest practice, don’t expect big changes in the Lightning’s line-up tonight. Brayden Point missed it due to a body maintenance day, while Vlad Namestnikov was filling his spot at the top line and Corey Perry at top power play unit.
a look at the #Bolts lines and D pairings without Point:— Gabby Shirley (@Gabby_Shirley_) January 27, 2023
Namestnikov - Stamkos - Kucherov
Colton - Paul - Maroon
Hagel - Cirelli - Killorn
Fleury - Bellemare - Perry
Hedman - Bogosian
Sergachev - Perbix
Cole - Cernak
Foote is mixing in on D
Going back to the Kings, it’s not that surprising to see them succeeding. Los Angeles have one of the best prospect pools in the league, which produced the likes of Quinton Byfield, Alex Turcotte or Gabriel Vilardi. The Kings have also a smart approach of building their team through trades and free agent market, which allowed them to acquire Viktor Arvidsson, Phillip Danault and most recently Kevin Fiala, who’s currently leading their team with 51 points in 51 games so far this season. They also still have very experienced Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty on their roster, making them a pretty strong playoff team. Last season the Kings already took the Edmonton Oilers to game seven of their first-round series.
Their team, however, still have some issues and goaltending have been one of them. Cal Petersen, who signed a $5 million AAV contract last summer, was expected to become a starting goalie this season, but after posting a .868 save percentage in 10 games was sent to the AHL. Veteran Jonathan Quick hasn’t been impressive either and Pheonix Copley, who has been a back-up goaltender for the duration of his contract, has overtook his place in the net recently. This season he has 15 wins in 19 starts, but his underlying numbers are still not great as he has just .901 SV%. From the comparison chart you can also see that the Kings allowing more actual goals than expected ones.
Looking deeper at their current winning streak, two of their recent wins came against the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers — two of the worst teams in the league this season. All three wins were also decided by one goal. The Kings also missing several key players, including Gabriel Vilardi, Arthur Kaliyev, Trevor Moore and Carl Grundstrom.
For the Lightning it will be the last game before going into an eight-day break. The Bolts will return after an All-Star Weekend with a game against the Panthers on February 6.
Los Angeles Kings at Tampa Bay Lightning Game Comparison
|Game # 48||Tampa Bay Lightning||Los Angeles Kings|
Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lines
Steven Stamkos - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Brandon Hagel - Anthony Cirelli - Alex Killorn
Vlad Namestnikov - Nick Paul - Ross Colton
Pat Maroon - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Corey Perry
Victor Hedman - Zach Bogosian
Mikhail Sergachev - Nick Perbix
Ian Cole - Erik Cernak
Los Angeles Kings Projected Lines
Quinton Byfield - Anze Kopitar - Adrian Kempe
Alex Iafallo - Phillip Danault - Viktor Arvidsson
Kevin Fiala - Blake Lizotte - Jaret Anderson-Dolan
Rasmus Kupari - Alex Turcotte - Samuel Fagemo
Mikey Anderson - Drew Doughty
Sean Durzi - Matt Roy
Tobias Bjornfot - Sean Walker