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Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Lightning Preview and Game Day Thread

Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Lightning: GAME#33

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUNX, SN, RDS, ESPN+/Hulu

Opponent SBNation Site: Habs Eyes on the Prize

DraftKings Odds: Lightning -1.5 O/U 6


It seems like it’s been much longer than a week since the Lightning played their last game. However, that’s all it’s been. Just seven days ago Tampa Bay dropped it’s second game in a row as they faded in a 7-4 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Now that the holiday break is over it’s time to get things back on track.

For the Bolts that means getting back to playing a full 60-minute effort at both ends of the ice. Their last two losses featured a return to some of their early season woes with turnovers and a lack of sustained pressure in the offensive zone. Perhaps a return to the friendly confines of Amalie Arena, where they have a four-game winning streak, will help them find the recipe for success they had for much of December.

Based on yesterday’s practice it looks like Coach Cooper may be shaking up the lines a bit. The top line is still together, but Ross Colton joined Steven Stamkos and Nick Paul on the second line with Alex Killorn dropping to the third line.

Meanwhile, Montreal hoped that the holiday break would help them with some of the injuries on the top line, but as of right now their depth is still an issue. Anthony Richard, who was with the Syracuse Crunch last season, has provided a bit of spark on the fourth line for them and it looks like youngster Justin Barron is joining their blue line after a strong season in Laval.

Special teams continues to be an issue for the Habs as their 14.3% success rate with the extra skater is dead last in the league, something that has to irk a head coach that recorded 300 points on the power play in his career. In their last meeting, a 5-1 win for the Bolts, Tampa Bay was able to score twice on the power play as Anthony Cirelli and Brandon Hagel connected for the special teams goals.

Comparison chart:

Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Lightning

Game #33 Tampa Bay Lightning Montreal Canadiens
Overall Record 20-11-1 15-16-3
Home Record 12-4-1 7-9
Road Record 8-7-0 8-7-3
Goals For 115 95
Goals Against 97 118
xGF 108.10 89.86
xGA 102.09 126.89
PP% 26.3% 14.3%
PK% 80.8% 77.2%

Tampa Bay Lightning Potential Lines

Forward Lines

Brandon Hagel – Brayden Point – Nikita Kucherov

Steven Stamkos – Nick Paul – Ross Colton

Alex Killorn – Anthony Cirelli – Pat Maroon

Vlad Namestnikov – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – Corey Perry

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman – Zach Bogosian

Ian Cole – Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev – Nick Perbix


Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

Lines are based on Tuesday’s practice. With a back-to-back it is possible that Brian Elliott gets the start.

Montreal Canadiens Potential Lines

Forward Lines

Cole Caufield – Nick Suzuki – Joel Armia

Mike Hoffman – Kirby Dach – Jonathan Drouin

Juraj Slafkovsky – Christian Dvorak – Josh Anderson

Michael Perzatta – Jake Evans – Anthony Richard

Defense Pairings

Joel Edmundson – Kaiden Guhle

Arber Xhakaj – Johnathan Kovacevic

Jordan Harris – Justin Barron


Jake Allen

Samuel Montembeault

Lines based on Tuesday’s practice.

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