The Tampa Bay Lightning search for some redemption after last night’s 5-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators with a win over the Montreal Canadiens tonight.
The Tampa Bay Lightning has been playing very well as of late, winning 10 of their last 12 games. Unfortunately, when the Tampa Bay Lightning hit the ice at the Canadian Tire Centre last night to take on the Ottawa Senators, we saw a much different Lightning team than we have over the last month or so, a team that was defeated 5-1 in their first road game in many weeks.
Tonight, the Tampa Bay Lightning will need to channel some of the anger and frustration they felt after last night’s 5-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators into a much more concerted effort as the Lightning look for a little redemption and a much-needed win over yet another Atlantic Division rival, the Montreal Canadiens.
The first thing the Tampa Bay Lightning will need to do if they want to walk away from tonight’s game successfully is to set the tone in the first period. The Bolts need to hit the ice with intensity, strike first, and do not let their opponent dictate the pace of the game at any time. The next most important thing would be to play a consistent 60 minutes of hockey.
Now, there are two players on the other side of the ice the Tampa Bay Lightning should be particularly mindful of tonight heading into the Bell Centre. The first of those players is Habs defenseman P.K. Subban. In addition to being one to never walk away from a good conflict while instigating a few of his own, he has made his way to the top of the Canadiens’ ranks as one of their top goal scorers.
In the 54 games Subban has played this season, he has been able to secure 5 goals and a whopping 38 assists for a grand total of 42 points. This places Subban in first place on the team in terms of assists and overall points. These numbers also place Subban in fourth place in the National Hockey League in assists, being bested only by Evgeny Kuznetsov of the Washington Capitals, Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, and Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators.
Another player the Bolts should be mindful of is Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty. Pacioretty leads the team with his 20 goals so far this season. Add in Pacioretty’s 18 assists and you get a grand total of 38 points. This places Pacioretty in third place on the team in terms of overall points.
On the other side of the ice, it is Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov who is holding it down for the Bolts. In his 52 games so far this season, Kucherov has scored 21 goals and 24 assists for a total of 45 points. Kucherov is also tied with Lightning captain Steven Stamkos for the first place spot on the team in goals.
Unfortunately for the Lightning, one player who will not be taking the ice with them tonight against the Canadiens is Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison. As some of you know by now, Garrison sustained a lower body injury in a collision with Senators right wing Bobby Ryan last night at the Canadian Tire Centre. Garrison is currently listed as day-to-day.
At this point, there has been no call-up made to fill the rather large void left by Jason Garrison. This would lead one to believe we will see defenseman Matt Carle on the ice tonight in lieu of Garrison. It will most certainly be interesting to see how this switch plays out on the ice.
Despite the setbacks the Tampa Bay Lightning has seen as of late, there is no denying they have what it takes to get the job done. The Tampa Bay Lightning simply need to forget every single detail from last night’s game and get back to playing hockey the way they did on February 5th against the Pittsburgh Penguins. If they can do that, the Lightning has a good chance of making up some of the ground the lost last night against Ottawa.
The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:30 p.m. EST tonight. Make sure to stay connected right here to Bolts By The Bay as we bring you all the latest Tampa Bay Lightning, news, updates, commentary, and more.