New Jersey Devils at Tampa Bay Lightning Preview and Game Day Thread

Yes, it’s them again

Tampa Bay Lightning at New Jersey Devils: GAME #71

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUNX, MSGSN, NHL Network

Opponent SBNation Site: All About the Jersey


At the beginning of this week, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s chances against the New Jersey Devils seemed bleak. The team was not long after their five-game losing streak and had seven losses in their last ten games, even despite some glimpses of strong performances in couple of games. They were going up against a very good New Jersey team, who had seven wins in their nine last games, and had a chance to top the Carolina Hurricanes in the standings.

That turned upside down this week, as the Lightning defeated the Devils in both games at their rink. What they showed on the ice wasn’t their best performance this season, but they earned the maximum possible amount of points in those game, and also securing the win in the season series against New Jersey.

Statistically, the Lightning play better at their home ice at Amalie Arena. This season they have a .764 point percentage at home, which is good for the second-best result in the league. The Devils, however, are a tough nut to crack, especially in road games. Currently they have a .794 point percentage away from home — the best result in the league. The team, however, have slowed down a bit recently, losing not only to the Bolts, but also to the Florida Panthers yesterday, blowing a 2-0 lead in this game.

The Devils also made some minor changes in their lines last night, swapping Timo Meier and Ondrej Palat, but that didn’t work out well, so we might see some other changes in tonight’s game. Akira Schmid played for New Jersey in the net last night and Vitek Vanecek is expected to play against the Lightning. in his last start against Tampa he had a .873 save percentage and -1.8 GSAx.

The Bolts also did some shuffling in their line combinations last night, scratching Pat Maroon and Nick Perbix, while Michael Eyssimont and Zach Bogosian returned to the line-up. It’s possible that Coach Cooper will continue to rotate out some of the older players with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare potentially getting the night off on a back-to-back. Andrei Vasilevskiy was the back-up last night will be back in the line-up tonight as the starter.

Comparison chart:

New Jersey Devils at Tampa Bay Lightning Comparison

Game # 71Tampa Bay LightningNew Jersey Devils
Overall Record42-22-644-18-7
Home Record25-6-519-13-3
Road Record17-16-125-5-4
Goals For243239
Goals Against211185

Tampa Bay Lightning Potential Lines

Forward Lines

Brandon Hagel - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Ross Colton - Steven Stamkos - Nick Paul

Tanner Jeannot - Anthony Cirelli - Alex Killorn

Michael Eyssimont - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Corey Perry

Defense Pairings

Victory Hedman - Zach Bogosian

Mikhail Sergachev - Darren Raddysh

Ian Cole - Erik Cernak


Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

New Jersey Devils Potential Lines

Forward Lines

Tomas Tatar - Nico Hischier - Dawson Mercer

Ondrej Palat - Jack Hughes - Jesper Bratt

Timo Meier - Erik Huala - Jesper Boqvist

Yegor Sharangovich - Michael McLeod - Curtis Lazar

Defense Pairings

Jonas Siegenthaler - Dougie Hamilton

Ryan Graves - John Marino

Brendan Smith - Damon Severson


Vitek Vanecek

Akira Schmid