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Tampa Bay Lightning at Carolina Hurricanes Preview and Game Day Thread

Tampa Bay Lightning at Carolina Hurricanes: GAME #75

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: PNC Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, BSSO, TVAS, HULU, ESPN+

Opponent SBNation Site: Canes Country


The Lightning enter tonight’s game on yet another losing streak, having dropped four in a row including all three on their current road trip. After coming up just short in their Saturday matinee with the best team in the NHL, the Lightning now get to take on the second best team in the league, the Carolina Hurricanes. Not only will the Bolts want to pick up a win so that they don’t head back to Amalie Arena empty-handed on this road trip, they will also want to avenge what was their worst loss of the season.

Earlier this month, the Lightning rolled into Carolina after a 5-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres that featured the benching of their top line. The motivational tactic did not provide the desired result as the Canes throttled them 6-0, with four of the goals coming on the power play. Yes, it was so bad I inserted a movie review into the recap just to have something fun to talk about.

Now, three weeks later the Lightning return to the scene of the horror show with the intent of taking two points from one of the best teams in the league. Saturday’s game against the Bruins showed that the Lightning had a bit of a spark in them as they took it to the regular season juggernauts right from the opening face-off.*

The Lightning didn’t win, but there were some positive outcomes from it. First, and probably most glaring was the emotion. There have been a lot of games where the Bolts have been flat and a bit robotic in their play. That was not the case against the Bruins. They also held the top scoring team in the league to two goals while killing off six-of-seven penalties. While taking seven penalties in a game is not a great way to succeed in moving forward, being successful at stopping another team’s power play and scoring a shorthanded goal certainly is.

Pulling the positive elements of that game into tonight’s game will go a long way to showing the coaching staff that this team is getting into playoff mode as the regular season comes to a close.

The Hurricanes are also coming off of a loss to Boston, as they went down in overtime, 4-3, on Sunday. They’ve clinched their spot in the postseason and are working on wrapping up the top spot in the Metro. Carolina is sitting at 103 points, with a 3-point lead over the New York Rangers with two games in hand. It’s been a rough stretch for them as well as they’ve gone 5-4-1 in their last ten against a bevy of teams that are bound for the playoffs.

They’ve managed to keep their head above water despite losing Andrei Svechnikov to a torn ACL two weeks ago. Sebastian Aho (6 goals) and Martin Necas (2 goals, 6 assists) have stepped up the scoring in the absence of the 23-year-old forward who had 23 goals and 32 assists on the season.

Comparison chart:

Lightning at Hurricanes Comparison

Game #75 Tampa Bay Lightning Carolina Hurricanes
Overall Record 42-26-6 47-16-9
Home Record 25-7-5 25-9-3
Road Record 17-19-1 22-7-6
Goals For 250 237
Goals Against 228 185
xGF 250.68 259.09
xGA 233.75 194.53
PP% 25% 20.9%
PK% 79.4% 83.8%

Tampa Bay Lightning Potential Lines

Forward Lines

Brandon Hagel – Brayden Point – Nikita Kucherov

Steven Stamkos – Anthony Cirelli – Alex KIllorn

Ross Colton – Nick Paul – Pat Maroon

Tanner Jeannot – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman – Nick Perbix

Mikhail Sergachev – Darren Raddysh

Ian Cole – Erik Cernak


Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

Lines based on Monday’s practice per Gabby Shirley.

Carolina Hurricanes Potential Lines

Forward Lines

Teuvo Teravainen – Sebastian Aho – Martin Necas

Seth Jarvis – Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Stefan Nosen

Jordan Martinook – Jordan Staal – Jesper Fast

Jack Drury – Derek Stepan – Jesse Puljujarvi

Defense Pairings

Jaccob Slavin – Brent Burns

Brady Skjei – Brett Pesce

Shayne Gostisbehere – Jalen Caufield


Frederik Andersen

Pyotr Kochetkov

*I was listening to the radio broadcast while touring the Art Institute of Chicago. To hear Dave Mishkin call that period, especially the first ten minutes, while standing in a group of people admiring and pontificating on A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (aka the Ferris Bueller painting) was, to say the least, a surreal experience.”

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