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Preview: Calgary Flames @ Tampa Bay Lightning, 2/12/19 (56/82): Two Of The NHL’s Best Clash In Florida

If the first meeting was any indication, this should be a fantastic game.

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

TV: ESPN+, SNW

Radio: Sportsnet 960

Calgary Flames 34-15-6 (74) - Tampa Bay Lightning 41-11-4 (86)

NHL Standings

The Flames four game road trip continues with a stop in Tampa Bay to take on the Lightning Tuesday night. Calgary comes into this contest having dropped three of their last four contests and have lost their grip on the top spot in both the Western Conference and Pacific Division. San Jose now holds the top spot in the West, but only by the slimmest margin of one point. The Flames haven’t looked right since coming out of their back to back long breaks. The Flames powerhouse top line is struggling, their goaltending is all over the place and for the first time all season there seems to be some cracks in Bill Peters coaching strategies. But like everything else in life a win can cure all ills and tonight would be a huge victory if the Flames can take down the top team in the NHL.

What else can you say about the Tampa Bay Lightning that hasn’t already been said? They have most points in the NHL with 86. They have the top goal differntial in the league at +61. Their 213 GF leads the league. They have the top PP. They have the second best PK. Tampa has given up the 5th fewest goals in the league. AND the Lightning have the league leader in points and assists (Kucherov) and Andrei Vasilevskiy has the second most shut outs (4) in the NHL this season. So, you know, no big deal.

The Lightning come into this contest with a 5-1-2 record in their last eight games. Tampa is currently riding a two game winning streak and they’ve won three out of their last four at home. Calgary should come into this game fairly confident even though they haven’t been playing their best hockey as of late. The Flames are 17-10-1 on the road this season and the good guys are 3-2-0 in their last five visits to Tampa. The Flames held their own earlier this season in a 5-4 SOL to the Lighnting at home back on December 20th at the Saddledome. That game was wildly entertaining and could very well be a preview of post season hockey if everything falls perfectly into place. For now the Flames just need to get back to being the team that won eight out of nine heading into the All Star break.

Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)

Flames: Rittich (E)- 20-4-5, 2.55 GAA, .915 Save%

Lightning: Vasilevskiy (E)- 22-7-4, 2.44 GAA, .926 Save%

Team Leaders

Flames: Goals- Gaudreau (29), Points- Gaudreau (75), PIM- Bennett (72), Save%- Rittich (.915)

Lightning: Goals- Point (32), Points- Kucherov (84), PIM- Paquette (56), Save%- Vasilevskiy (.926)

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Tampa Bay Lightning Coverage: Raw Charge

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 3 - Vancouver Canucks 4 (SO)

Tampa Bay Lightning 5 - Florida Panthers 2

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

NHL: Calgary Flames at Arizona Coyotes Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

T.J. Brodie (D)- 7G - 22A, 6 points in last 5 games

Tampa Bay Lightning

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Islanders Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Steven Stamkos (C)- 29G - 35A, 6 points in last 5 games