9:06 pm
December 20

Lightning @ Flames

Who will WIN this matchup?

Tampa Bay Lightning (26-7-2)

@ Calgary Flames (22-11-2)


Starting Goalies:

Louis Domingue (TB): Confirmed

David Rittich (CGY): Confirmed


Current odds:

Tampa Bay Lightning: (-115)

Calgary Flames: (-105)


 The Tampa Bay Lightning expect to get production from the top performers almost every night, but the bottom-six forwards have also been making steady contributions as they look to extend their point streak to 11 games at the Calgary Flames on Thursday. The “fourth line” of Cedric Paquette, Adam Erne and Danick Martel recorded two goals and three assists in Tuesday’s 5-2 victory at Vancouver as Tampa Bay improved to 9-0-1 in its last 10. Captain Steven Stamkos boasts 10 goals in his last 10 contests as he approaches his 700th NHL game Thursday for Tampa Bay, which owns the league’s best record, but will face a Calgary team that lost in regulation for only the third time in 16 games (12-3-1) Tuesday at Dallas.

• The Pacific Division-leading Flames, who have scored 64 goals during that span despite being shut out three times, could not muster much with 24 shots in the 2-0 setback against the Stars last time out. “We weren’t sharp – it showed right from the start,” Calgary captain Mark Giordano told reporters. “I thought they looked like the faster team, but only because they were committed to putting pucks in and forechecking. For whatever reason, we were fighting it all night. We weren’t making clean plays.”

• Martel was a late addition to the lineup when right wing Ryan Callahan (upper body) was ruled out after the warmup, and 24-year-old recorded his first NHL point (assist) along with two hits in 6:57 of playing time. “My warmup was dressing. Not thinking. …,” Martel told reporters after his second game of the season. “. … I wanted to make a difference. I don’t have a lot of opportunities, and when I have some, I need to be ready.” Third-line center Anthony Cirelli leads all Lightning forwards with a plus-12 rating and boasts nine goals – three short-handed.

• David Rittich has started five straight contests between the pipes and owns a .944 save percentage in that stretch while his team was shut out twice. Johnny Gaudreau had three goals and three assists in three games before being blanked Tuesday and owns a team-high 45 points overall – five more than fellow left wing Matthew Tkachuk, who has seven points in his past four contests. Giordano, a defenseman, registered three goals and eight assists in his last six games while center Sean Monahan has four of his 39 points in the past four outings.

• Calgary LW James Neal (three goals, seven points) missed Tuesday’s game with a lower-body injury and his status is uncertain.

• Tampa Bay RW Nikita Kucherov leads the team with 50 points and has a goal in each of the last three contests.

• The road team has won the last four meetings and the teams have combined to score 31 goals in that stretch – 16 by the Lightning.

StreakSmarter Pick
Calgary Flames