Calgary Flames vs Tampa Bay Lightning, 7:00 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB
Radio: Sportsnet 960
Calgary Flames 22-11-2 (46 pts) - Tampa Bay Lightning 26-7-2 (54 pts)
If you want to know where the Flames stand, tonight is a great test. Calgary returns home to the NHL juggernaut that is the Tampa Bay Lightning after having their 3 game winning streak snapped in Dallas. The Flames are playing very well lately, having won 8 out of their last 10 and are tied for first place in the Western Conference with Nashville and Winnipeg. They’ve been able to win tight games, high scoring games, but Dallas exposed Calgary in their 2-0 victory Tuesday night. The Stars were physical and they slowed the game down, forcing the Flames to play a slow and plodding style that doesn’t suit the Flames very well.
Tampa is just crushing the competition. The Lightning own a league best 26-7-2 record and are way out ahead in the Eastern Conference. Tampa has won 12 out of their last 14 and they’ve been doing it with a high powered offence scoring four or more goals 12 times. They lead the league in GF with 141, their PP is operating at 29.7% (2nd in the NHL) and they are 6th in the league averaging 33.3 shots per game. And when it comes to that red hot power play, Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point have 16 PPG between the two of them.
The Flames, unlike last season, have been enjoying their home rink in 2018-19. Calgary is 11-3-2 at the Saddledome, but Tampa’s road record neutralizes that advantage. The Lightning are an identical 11-3-2 when they hit the road. To make matters worse the Flames are 1-4-0 the last 5 times Tampa has visited Alberta including 7-4 and 6-3 losses. No matter the stats this should be a very entertaining game between two of the NHL’s heavyweights this season.
Goals: Monahan (20), Points: Gaudreau (45), PIM: Bennett (51), Save%: Rittich (.925)
Tampa Bay Lightning
Goals: Point (21), Points: Kucherov (50), PIM: Paquette (34), Save%: Vasilevskiy (.930)
Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)
Flames: Smith (E)- 11-7-1, 2.99 GAA, .888 Save%
Lightning: Vasilevskiy (E)- 11-3-2, 2.35 GAA, .930 Save%
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Tampa Bay Lightning Coverage: Raw Charge
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 0 - Dallas Stars 2
Tampa Bay Lightning 5 - Vancouver Canucks 2
Players To Watch
Mark Giordano (D): 6G - 29A, 8 points in last 5 games
Tampa Bay Lightning
Steven Stamkos (C): 17G - 19A, 10 points in last 5 games