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Preview: Calgary Flames @ Tampa Bay Lightning 1/11/18 (43/82): Reward For Winning 4 Straight? The Lightning.

Calgary puts their 4 game winning streak on the line against the best hockey team in the galaxy.

NHL: Calgary Flames at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames @ Tampa Bay Lightning, 5:30 PM MT, Amalie Arena, Tampa FL

Where To Watch & Listen

Radio: Sportsnet 960

There’s nothing like winning your fourth game in a row to start a road trip, especially against a team that you’re battling for WC positioning with. That’s exactly what the Flames did when they took down the Minnesota Wild in OT Tuesday night. So it makes sense that the Flames would be amped up and loaded with confidence as they head into the second game of their trip East to face.....the Tampa Bay Lightning. Gulp. We’ll get to them in a minute, but more on the Flames.

Calgary has roared back into playoff contention by dispatching Chicago, LA, Anaheim and Minnesota in the last 2 weeks. If you had said the Flames would split with those 4, you’d have taken it, but to sweep those 4 as they headed East, perfect. The Flames top line of Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Micheal Ferland is rolling again and they’ll need to be lights out when the Flames pull into sunny Florida because.......

The Lightning are, well, the best at almost everything and that’s a real deal statement, not an opinion. Tampa has the league’s best record: 31-9-3, good for 65 points. The NHL’s best goal differential: +53. Seriously, +53. They have the 3rd best PP in the NHL. Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos are #1 and #3 in the NHL in points scored. Stamkos is second in the league in PP points. Andrei Vasilevskiy leads all goalies in wins (27) and shut outs (6).

Tampa has rolled though the first half of the season winning anywhere and every where they play. The Lightning have only lost 3 times in 21 games on home ice and they are an unthinkable 14-3-1 since December. These aren’t made up stats people, this is real and scary.

With all that said the Flames are getting going at the right time. Calgary has dropped 3 of their last 5 in Tampa, but took last year’s meeting 3-2. This isn’t an impossible task, but it’s going to be tough. Calgary will have to play near perfect hockey and not give the Lightning an inch. The Flames shut down Minnesota’s pedestrian power play unit, but the 3rd ranked man up unit that Tampa presents will be a certain challenge for the Flames. Where the Flames could get some help, if they help themselves, is on their own struggling power play. Tampa owns the league’s 20th PK% and Calgary could attempt to take advantage of that if they try, even just a little, to look like a competent PP squad.

How They Match Up

Calgary Flames Stats Tampa Bay Lightning
Calgary Flames Stats Tampa Bay Lightning
22-16-4 Record 31-9-3
48 Points 65
3rd Pacific Division 1st Atlantic
9th West Conference 1st East
4-0-1 Last 5 3-1-1
116 Goals For 158
118 Goals Against 105
Monahan (20) Goals Kucherov (27)
Gaudreau (49) Points Kucherov (60)
Brouwer (44) PIM Hedman (32)
Rittich (.924) Save% Vasilevskiy (.933)
17.1 (22nd) PP% 24.7 (3rd)
79.6 (22nd) PK% 79.9 (20th)
0-0-0 2017-18 VS 0-0-0
18-22-1 Overall VS 22-18-1

Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)

Player Record GAA Save%
Player Record GAA Save%
Flames: Smith (E) 18-13-3 2.55 .921
Lightning: Vasilevskiy (E) 27-6-2 2.10 .933

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Raw Charge’s Lightning Coverage

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 3 Minnesota Wild 2 (OT)

Calgary extended their winning streak to a season high 4 with a 3-2 win in OT over the Minnesota Wild. Dougie Hamilton scored the GWG for the second straight night to get Calgary even closer to that final WC spot. Here’s our recap and the highlights from

Tampa Bay Lightning 5 Carolina Hurricanes 4

The Lightning picked up their league best 65th point as they dispatched the Hurricanes 5-4 Tuesday night. Tyler Johnson paced Tampa on offence with a hat trick (14,15,16) and Andrei Vasilevskiy weathered the storm stopping 28 of the 32 shots that came his way. Raw Charge has the recap and provides the highlights.

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

NHL: Calgary Flames at Minnesota Wild Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Gaudreau (F). As that top line goes, so the Flames go and Gaudreau is a major part of that. Johnny Hockey had a 3 point game (3A) against the Wild Tuesday night, giving him 8 points in his last 5 games. While the assists are piling up, Gaudreau hasn’t found the back of the net since Calgary’s 3-2 loss to San Jose back on December 14th. In 6 career games against the Lightning he has 4 assists.

Tampa Bay Lightning

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Johnson (C). Fresh off a hat trick against the Hurricanes Johnson is now 5th on the Lightning with 34 points. He has 5 points in his last 5 games and he’s deadly at home. Of his 34 points, 17 of them have come on home ice where he is also a +9. In 8 career games against the Flames the Spokane Washington product has 6 points.