San Jose Sharks @ Tampa Bay Lightning Preview

Credit: Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports /

In the second game of a back-to-back, the Tampa Bay Lightning (32-16-1) return home to host the San Jose Sharks (15-25-11). Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET with FanDuel’s odds currently favoring Tampa Bay at -285 with an over/under of 6.5.

Last night, the Bolts suffered a complete defensive meltdown in Sunrise, losing 7-1 to the Florida Panthers. Carter Verhaeghe & Matthew Tkachuk both netted two goals each for Florida as part of a 49 shot performance that kept Andrei Vasilevskiy busy all night.

Nikita Kucherov scored the lone goal for the Lightning in a tough night all around for Tampa Bay, but they will immediately get the chance to rebound tonight at home. The Maple Leafs still currently hold a five-point advantage over the Lightning for second place in the Atlantic division, while Florida gained some ground in the division with the win last night.

The Sharks have been struggling mightily this season, sitting only a few points ahead of the last-place Anaheim Ducks in the Pacific division. They currently have the most overtime losses of any team in the league with 11, including a league-leading five shootout losses. Tampa Bay will hope to take advantage of a weaker opponent record-wise at home, though any game on the second night of a back-to-back can be grueling. This will be the Sharks’ first game since the All-Star Break, and they’re coming off a dreadful January in which they amassed only four wins.

The Lightning visited the Sharks in San Jose back on October 29th in their only other meeting this season. The Bolts narrowly escaped with a 4-3 victory behind a goal from Nikita Kucherov that broke a 3-3 tie with 56 seconds remaining in regulation. Erik Karlsson was impressive for San Jose, scoring twice on the night to keep the Sharks in the game throughout. Tampa Bay is seeking a season sweep of the Sharks tonight, likely with Brian Elliott as the starting goalie given the back-to-back nature of the game as well as Andrei Vasilevskiy’s added participation in the All-Star Game.

INJURIES: Lightning forward Vladislav Namestnikov left last night’s game after being hit in the first period, but was able to return to the game.

Sharks defensemen Markus Nutivaara and Radim Simek have been on IR and could be ruled out again for this game.

Odds (Courtesy of FanDuel): TBL -285 ML/SJ +230 ML, O 6.5 -106/U 6.5 -114

Where to watch: Bally Sports Sun, NHL PowerPlay, ESPN+

Where to listen: Lightning Radio 24/7, 102.5 MHz-FM

Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL

February 7, 2023, 7:00 p.m. ET

Next. Time for Lightning to Go “All in”. dark