Tampa Bay Lightning at Vancouver Canucks preview: Time to start another win streak!
Hopefully this will be a game worth staying up for.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Vancouver Canucks: GAME 35
Time: 10:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Rogers Place
Broadcast/Streaming: SunS, SNP
Opponent SBNation Site: Nucks Misconduct
The Tampa Bay Lightning arrive in Vancouver after having their eight-game win streak snapped with a 5-4 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets. After playing two of the league’s better teams in the Jets and the Toronto Maple Leafs, tonight’s game will provide a bit of relief for the Lightning, but the Canucks are not to be underestimated. Vancouver has won five of their last six games, and their one loss came in overtime to the Nashville Predators. The Canucks are undefeated on their current homestand look to continue that trend against the Lightning.
Tampa Bay, meanwhile, got Anton Stralman back from injury against Winnipeg and looked solid against the Jets. Their powerplay has been lights-out as of late, climbing to 2nd in the league and scoring at least one powerplay goal in their last four games. They also have the most powerplay goals (36) in the entire league. Playing against a weaker shorthanded team in the Canucks should further their success on the man-advantage. However, turnovers and allowing late-in-period goals proved detrimental for the Bolts, as the Jets climbed back from three separate one-goal deficits in their eventual win.
Stralman’s return has forced Erik Cernak to the pressbox, but Jon Cooper was quick to confirm that Cernak will see games on this road trip. Cernak was still paired with Slater Koekkoek at Monday’s practice, so it may not be tonight. Mathieu Joseph was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury he sustained against Colorado, which allows the Lightning to carry eight defensemen for now.
The Canucks haven’t had much injury trouble as of late; Sven Baertschi sustained a concussion back in late October, and Brandon Sutter separated his shoulder around the same time and won’t return until after Christmas. They traded for Josh Leivo and have gone 5-1-1 since acquiring him. Leivo has three goals with the Canucks and went from a permanent fourth-liner in Toronto to playing on a line with Elias Petterson and Brock Boeser. Vancouver can get scoring from all four of their lines; they have twelve players with ten or more points and four players over 20.
Yes, the Canucks have the ability to score, but there is no higher-scoring team in the NHL right now than the Lightning. On top of their lethal powerplay, the Lightning have seven players with over 20 points on the season (one of which is Ryan McDonagh) and two players over 40. They’ve scored at least three goals a night in their last nine games and ended their winning streak with 41 goals in eight games. It should be a fast-paced, offense-driven game that will hopefully keep most of us watching on the east coast awake.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - Yanni Gourde
Tyler Johnson - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - J.T. Miller
Adam Erne - Cedric Paquette - Ryan Callahan
Scratched: Danick Martel
Injured: Mathieu Joseph
Victor Hedman - Dan Girardi
Ryan McDonagh - Anton Stralman
Braydon Coburn - Mikhail Sergachev
Scratched: Slater Koekkoek, Erik Cernak
Antoine Roussel - Bo Horvat - Loui Eriksson
Josh Leivo - Elias Petterson - Brock Boeser
Nikolay Goldobin - Adam Gaudette - Jake Virtanen
Markus Granlund - Jay Beagle - Tyler Motte
Scratched: Tim Schaller
Injured: Sven Baertschi, Brandon Sutter
Alexander Edler - Chris Tanev
Ben Hutton - Erik Gudbranson
Derrick Pouliot - Troy Stetcher
Scratched: Michael Del Zotto, Alex Biega