On Tuesday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning face off against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes have had a strong start to their season, starting the season off with a nine game win streak before the Florida Panthers put an end to their parade on Saturday.
While the Hurricanes are tough opponents, those nine wins have come against some of the weaker teams in the league. Florida was their first top end opponent of the season, and showed some of the flaws the Hurricanes have in their roster.
As we head closer to tonight’s night’s game, there are a lot of things to look at before, during, and after the game.
Like always, we’ll start with the Lightning. The players who have started the season hot, have all stayed hot. The Lightning have been strong during this tough start to the season, playing against some of the best teams in the league, and multiple players have stepped up to the challenge.
Steven Stamkos: 6G 8A 14P
Alex Killorn: 7G 4A 11P
Victor Hedman: 1G 9A 10P
Same players as we’ve seen for most of the season, but these players have stepped up after the loss of Kucherov, but some other notable players to talk about are Brayden Point, Mathieu Joseph, Alex Barre-Boulet, and Andrej Sustr. These players have all stepped up their game after both tough starts, and adjusting to new roles in the lineup.
Andrej Sustr, a defenseman, has played strongly this season after the loss of Zach Bogosian to injury. While also being respectable on defense, he’s also stepped it up on offense. Another notable defender has been Ryan McDonagh, who is often overlooked whenever the Lightning’s star-studded defense is mentioned.
Now to move on to the Carolina Hurricanes, who have had some players start off very strongly so far this season.
Andrei Svechnikov: 7G 7A 14P
Sebastion Aho: 5G 6A 11P
Tony DeAngelo: 2G 8A 10P
With no surprise, Andrei Svechnikov and Sebastion Aho top the list for Carolina’s offense, which is arguably the most underrated offense in the league. Other notable players inlcude Vincent Trochek, Teuvo Teravainen, Jaccob Slavin, and Jesper Fast. Fast may be the most surprising name on here, but he’s been a player to look out for so far this season.
The defense on Carolina is great on the top 4, but lacks in depth compared to the Lightning. That doesn’t mean it’s bad defense though, it just means that the Lightning have slightly stronger defense. Tony DeAngelo, after being let go by the New York Rangers last season after multiple off ice issues, has had a very strong start to the season. Everyone knows he’s a great player, but he’s been even better with the Hurricanes.
Expect for Andrei Vasilevskiy, who sits on a 2.40 GAA and .919% save, to start for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Vasilevskiy, who had a rough start to the season, has played amazing since winning against the Pittsburgh Penguins two weeks ago. Also expect for Frederik Andersen, who comes in with a 1.83 GAA and .939% save, to start for Carolina. Andersen is one of the many cases of surprisingly hot players, as he has played a lot better since leaving the Toronto Maple Leafs. While the Hurricanes haven’t played many tough opponents, Andersen has played like a Vezina caliber goaltender so far this season.
Score: 2-1 OT Lightning
Shots: 31 Lightning/34 Hurricanes
Top Performer: Alex Barre-Boulet (1G, 1A, 2P)
Overall Performance: B
The Hurricanes are a tough team, so it’s going to be a fight to get the win, but it’s hard to see Tampa lose to the Hurricanes after a strong last two weeks. Alex Barre-Boulet is bound for a great game, and it feels like Tuesday will be that night for him. . Vasilevskiy and Andersen should both have quite the games for themselves, and it will all come down to a lucky bounce if the Lightning are to hand Carolina just their second loss of the season.
The Tampa Bay Lightning face off against the Carolina Hurricanes at Amalie Arena at 7pm EST on Tuesday, November 9th.