Preview: Lightning at Blues, Kucherov and Tarasenko meet as enemies

Skidding Bolts meet streaking Blues. Great.

Lightning (13-10-1) at Blues (13-7-3): Game 25

Time: 8 pm Eastern Time

Location: Scottrade Center, St. Louis Missouri

Broadcast/Streaming: Fox SUN, Fox Midwest

Opponent SBNation Site: St. Louis Game Time

When last Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Vladimir Tarasenko hung out, they were on the same team. Team Russia had one of the most exciting forward groups at the World Cup this past September, and there were games that saw all three of these names on the scoresheet. Perhaps a little extra insight into Tarasenko's game can help Tampa Bay's forwards neutralize him? No? At the very least, the team has their work cut out for them.

Tarasenko is the St. Louis Blues' unhurt #91. Last season he played 80 games and made the 40 goal mark, with an additional 34 assists for 74 points. The season before that, he had three fewer goals and two more assists, and already this season he's closing in on 10 goals and 13 assists.

How is he so dangerous? Although earlier in his career his goals came from driving close to the net, he has since shown that he can score from just about anywhere on the ice, although he favors the right circle over the left. Here is Tarasenko’s goal location chart from last season:

Despite the fact that head coach Ken Hitchcock has said that this will be his last year coaching the Blues, they are a sadly good team. They've won six games out of the last seven, and are second in the central division. Tarsenko isn’t their only weapon — Robby Fabbri and David Perron are also dangerous this season, with bargain-signing Perron holding the current longest point streak.

Which Tampa Bay Lightning team shows up tonight?

With the addition of two more Syracuse Crunch call-ups, Joel Vermin and Michael Bournival, to the roster mix, will everyone else feel that much more concerned about keeping their jobs? Here’s hoping it’s the injection of energy the team needs. Tampa Bay is 3-4-1 without Stamkos in the lineup.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Alex Killorn - Vladislav Namestnikov - Nikita Kucherov

Brayden Point - Tyler Johnson - ?

Ondrej Palat  - Valtteri Filppula  - Jonathan Drouin

Cedric Paquette  - Brian Boyle  - J.T. Brown

Joel Vermin - Michael Bournival

Defensive Pairings

Victor Hedman  - Andrej Sustr

Nikita Nesterov  - Braydon Coburn

Jason Garrison - Slater Koekkoek

Luke Witkowski


Andrei Vasilevskiy

Ben Bishop

St. Louis Blues


Jaden Schwartz - Paul Stastny - David Perron

Robby Fabbri - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko

Dmitrij Jaskin - Patrik Berglund - Ty Rattie

Scottie Upshall - Kyle Brodziak - Ryan Reaves


Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson - Kevin Shattenkirk

Robert Bortuzzo - Colton Parayko


Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Line information will be updated in the Game Day Thread.