The Tampa Bay Lightning have started games off slow this year, but have come from behind to win games too.
The Lightning will face in-state rival Florida Panthers and the new and the Colorado Avalanche this week at home before heading on the road for the first time this season. They will face the Senators in Ottawa. The Bolts will need to get off to better starts, if they want to have a productive week.
The Panthers visit the Lightning on Tuesday night, and this will be a matchup of undefeated teams. The teams have each won both games that they’ve played. Florida will need to capitalize on its power play chances and stay out of the penalty box since Tampa Bay has dangerous power play units. The two power play units include the likes of Nikita Kucherov, Jonathan Drouin, Victor Hedman and Steven Stamkos among others. If they get the lead then they’ll need to protect it since the Bolts have proven they can come back in games. The key factor to winning the game for Florida will be former Lightning player, Jonathan Marchessault, who has four points so far this season.
The Bolts will need to get off to a better start and come out playing with some energy. They will need to limit their mistakes with the puck including turning the puck over. It would be helpful if Tampa Bay could get the first goal of the game and build off it that momentum since the Panthers haven’t given up much. The Bolts will need to be patient with the puck, but also ready to go from puck drop since this is a rivalry game. They’ll also want to get Kucherov going especially early in the game.
The Avalanche are off to a good start in the early season. The Avs are scoring goals, but giving up some too. Tampa Bay will need to stay out of the penalty box because Colorado has had some success on the power play early on. When on the power play, the Bolts will need to capitalize since the penalty kill is one of the Avs’ weakest parts of it game so far. The Lightning will also need to keep an eye on Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog along with Erik Johnson and Tyson Barrie, who can pitch in on the offensive side of the puck and shut down top players.
The Bolts will close out the week by playing its first road game of the week on Saturday in Ottawa. The Lightning need to take advantage of the not-so-stellar defense that the Senators have. Tampa Bay will need to get shots to the net and give the goalies a hard time trying to see the puck. The Lightning will need to keep an eye on defenseman Erik Karlsson when he’s on the ice because the can act as a fourth forward and jump up into the play.