The Tampa Bay Lightning will visit Atlantic Division opponent, Detroit Red Wings tonight at 7:30 p.m. The game will be nationally televised on the NBCSN network and will be streamed live on the NBCSN app.
It may only be November, but this game is a chance for each team to grab some points within the division. Here are three things to watch for in tonight’s matchup:
1) TAMPA BAY POWER PLAY
The Bolts power play is operating at 23.4%, which is sixth best in the NHL. They have drawn 64 penalties and have 15 power play goals on the season, but have given up a shorthanded goal against while on the man advantage. The Lightning power play units are dangerous with the likes of Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman and Alex Killorn on them. Tampa Bay will need to take advantage of the fact that the Red Wings aren’t the best team at killing penalties since they are only operating at a 77.5% clip on the penalty kill. The Bolts are pretty dangerous on the road with the power play since they have seven power play goals in 33 opportunities (21.2%).
2) PACE OF THE GAME
Detroit should start the game off with high energy and maintain that pace throughout the game. They’ll need to take advantage that Tampa Bay played the New York Islanders last night and had to travel after the game. The Red Wings should play an up-tempo, north-south game and go right at the Bolts. The team should also throw its weight around a little even though that isn’t Detroit’s style. The Red Wings should also try to turn on its speed through the neutral zone to create some chances.
The goaltending is going to need to be good for both teams. The Bolts have so many offensive threats and playmakers so either Petr Mrazek or Jimmy Howard will have to be on his game. The goalies will need to make the routine saves, be in good position to make the save and may even have to have quick reflexes to make a few saves look easy. Ben Bishop is expected to go tonight for the Lightning after Andrei Vasilevskiy shut out the Isles last night. Bishop will need to stay focused, track the puck well and just be in the right place at the right time to make saves, and keep Detroit from scoring goals.