The second game of a three-game road trip gets kicked off tonight in Saint Paul where the Tampa Bay Lightning will be taking on the Minnesota Wild. Puck drop will be later on the docket, scheduled for 9:30 p.m. at the Xcel Energy Center.
This will be the seventh back-to-back series of games for the Bolts this season. Tampa Bay owns a 3-3 record in the second game of a back-to-back thus far. For the Wild, this is their first game of the 2023 year as they try to maintain their third place position in the Central division.
The Wild are looking to emerge as a top contender this season with talented players like Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello leading the way offensively. Veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has proven he’s still got some juice left as well, posting a .904 save percentage and a 2.82 GAA so far in 23 games played. \
The Lightning, however, are looking to stay hot after putting up a nice 4-1 win last night against the Blackhawks. Alex Killorn, Nick Paul and Brandon Hagel all netted goals in the third period to put Chicago away for good and extend their win streak to four games.
Similar to the Blackhawks matchup last night, this is the first of two meetings with the Wild this season for the Bolts. The second clash will come later this month on January 24th back in Tampa Bay.
Last season, the Bolts met the Wild twice in 2021 and split the season series 1-1. In the first game on November 21st, Brian Elliott drew the start in net as the Lightning were able to get a win in shootout fashion 5-4 after a blown lead late in the third period. The second game on November 28th resulted in a 4-2 loss with Andrei Vasilevskiy back in net, but the important thing to remember about these matchups was the absence of Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov. With both star players back in the lineup for the Bolts this time around, it will be interesting to watch what kind of affect they will have on this game this time around.
An insane stat to keep in mind as well, the Lightning have not won a game against the Wild in Minnesota since 2011.
Injuries: Lightning winger Rudolfs Balcers will likely remain out for this game and as for the Wild, RW Brandon Duhaime remains on Injured Reserve.
Where to watch: TNT
Where to listen: Lightning Radio 24/7, 102.5 MHz-FM
Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, MN
January 4, 2023, 9:30 p.m.