After a less-than-successful back-to-back road trip, the Tampa Bay Lightning heads home in hopes of getting back on track with a win over the Nashville Predators.
The Tampa Bay Lightning has been playing very well at home as of late. In fact, the Tampa Bay Lightning have been playing so well at home that they’ve captured wins in eight of their last 10 games at the Amalie Arena. Unfortunately, when the Bolts headed out on the road for a back-to-back road series through Canada, the Lightning returned home without a single point to their name.
On Friday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning charge back into the Amalie Arena to kick off a four-game home stand against captain Shea Weber and the Nashville Predators. Friday night’s encounter will not be the first time these two teams have met in the center of the ice this season. Back on
The Lightning and the Predators are coming into Friday night’s encounter in very similar situations. The Lightning suffered a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. Elsewhere in the hockey world, the Nashville Predators were handed a 5-3 loss at the hands of the Washington Capitals at the Bridgestone Arena in front of their hometown fans.
Needless to say, considering the terms in which both teams are coming into Friday night’s encounter and the position both teams find themselves in their respective divisions, both the Lightning and the Predators will be hungry for a win here in the Sunshine State.
Thankfully, the Tampa Bay Lightning will not be heading into the same situation as the Predators. Less than 24 hours after facing the Bolts, the Predators will head to the BB&T Center in Sunrise to take on the number one team in the Atlantic Division, the Florida Panthers.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are going to have to kick up their intensity a little bit on Friday night if they want to bring home the two points in front of the Bolts Nation. The top two players on the Predators roster right now aren’t even forwards. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen…the Predators top two players in regards to overall points are defensemen.
Leading the way for the Predators is defenseman Roman Josi. The 25-year-old Swiss defenseman has scored 11 goals and 27 assists for a total of 38 points. Josi is tied with center Mike Ribeiro for first place on the team in terms of assists. Tied for second place on the team is captain Shea Weber and left wing Filip Forsberg. Weber has registered 14 goals and 21 assists and Forsberg has captured 17 goals and 18 assists, both for 35 points.
Shea Weber was also successful against the Tampa Bay Lightning in their first encounter this season back on October 20th. Weber earned an assist on a last minute goal by Mike Fisher in the first period and scored a goal of his own just past the halfway point in the second period. The Tampa Bay Lightning are going to need to be especially careful when Weber gets an opportunity in the Lightning’s zone.
Leading the charge for the Tampa Bay Lightning is right wing Nikita Kucherov. Kucherov is tied with Lightning captain Steven Stamkos for first place on the team in terms of goals. In the 53 games Kucherov has played so far this season, Kucherov has scored 21 goals and 24 assists for a total of 45 points. Right on Kucherov’s heels is Steven Stamkos with 21 goals and 19 assists for a total of 40 points.
There is still one wild card here in the Bolts Nation that could potentially change the landscape of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s game heading into Friday night’s encounter. As of early Wednesday morning, Jason Garrison was listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury. According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, Garrison is scheduled to be evaluated at some point Wednesday. Surely it will become apparent at that point just how long the veteran defenseman will be forced to miss.
There is no denying the Tampa Bay Lightning has plenty of work to do if they want to be victorious over the Nashville Predators on Friday night. They are going to need to push harder on the Power Play, have better control of the puck, and be more aggressive in front of the net. These are just a small sampling of what the team will need to look at in the coming days.
The good news is, the Tampa Bay Lightning has two days to look over their tapes and put to bed the mistakes of the past before they hit the ice on Friday night against the Predators. If there is any team who has built a reputation for thriving in the face of adversity, it is the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:30 p.m. EST on Friday night. 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.