Calgary Flames at Tampa Bay Lightning game preview
The Tampa Bay Lightning look like an offensive juggernaut – particularly at home – while the Calgary Flames appear quite comfortable on the road.
Tampa Bay tries to cap a perfect four-game homestand Thursday night against Calgary, which is aiming for a fourth straight road win.
Both teams claimed 4-3 victories over Washington their last time out, with the Lightning (8-3-1) triumphing Saturday for their fifth win in six games. Jason Garrison scored the winner at the 2:27 mark of the third period after also scoring the winner in last Thursday’s 4-3 win over Philadelphia. Ryan Callahan scored in the first period in his return after missing five games with a lower-body injury.
Tampa Bay has 23 goals while winning four of five at home and its 12.0 shooting percentage overall is second to only Pittsburgh’s 13.4 mark.
Nikita Kucherov has five goals and four assists over his last five games after recording one of each against the Capitals. He recorded two points in his first seven games and is seven shy of the 18 points he tallied in 52 contests as a rookie last season.
"Kuch has come a long way in understanding how to play both sides of the rink," Steven Stamkos, who leads the team with eight goals, told the team’s official website. "He’s been a big part of our success this year, and we’re going to continue to need him."
Tyler Johnson had two assists and all 13 of his assists have come over the last nine games.
The Lightning took a 2-1 overtime victory in Calgary on Oct. 21 with Ondrej Palat scoring at the 3:00 mark of the extra period. Tampa Bay’s Valtteri Filppula forced overtime by scoring with 2:16 remaining in regulation.
"I don’t want to say we stole that game, but we did wait a considerable amount of time before we scored," coach Jon Cooper said.
The Flames (8-4-2) have 14 goals during a three-game winning streak and knocked off the Capitals in overtime on Tuesday as Sean Monahan scored with 53 seconds left. Monahan has four points in his last three games after posting as many in his first 11.
"We’re on the road here and you’ve got to find a way to win," Monahan told the team’s official website. "Right now, we are trying to get as many wins as we can to start the season. I think we’re rolling right now, we’ve got good leadership to get us there."
Calgary was outshot 34-23, marking the fifth time it won despite being outshot. Markus Granlund scored with 5:10 remaining in regulation to force overtime. The Flames, close behind Tampa Bay in shooting percentage at 10.7, have outscored opponents 17-7 in the third period after being outscored 23-21 over the first two.
"We never quit," coach Bob Hartley said. "It was far from the perfect game. It was one of the weirdest games that I’ve seen, looking at a few of their goals and looking at our winning goal. But that’s the beauty of our sport. It can go, and our guys never quit."
Cooper said center Alex Killorn is doubtful after he left in the second period against Washington with an upper-body injury.