Tampa Bay Lightning
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 7:35pm
Written by Valdis Pans on March 20, 2017
Arizona Coyotes (26-36-7-2) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (34-28-6-3)
When: 7:30 PM ET, Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
Lines: Tampa Bay -290/Arizona +245
After two straight domestic defeats, the Tampa Bay Lightning (5th in Atlantic Division) will hope to round off a three-date homestand with a win against the Arizona Coyotes (7th in Pacific), who will be playing with no rest…
The Arizona Coyotes (26-36-9) will embark on a five-date road trip with a back-to-back pair, visiting the Nashville Predators on Monday, with the clash at the Tampa Bay Lightning scheduled to kick off barely 24 hours later. A single regulation loss in their past six outings is preceding the double-header for the Coyotes, who were shut out 3-0 by the St. Louis Blues at Gila River Arena on Saturday. They were 3-0-2 prior to that game and had gone 4-2-2 in their past eight overall fixtures before Monday, posting victories in their last two road outings. Radim Vrbata was traveling to Nashville as the leading scorer for the Coyotes with 17 goals on 51 points for the season.
Goalie Mike Smith (18-21-8 for the current term with a 2.93 GAA) was confirmed to start against the Predators, so Louis Domingue is likely to deputize in the net against the Bolts. He is 3-0-0 in his past three starts, 8-14-1 for the year with a 3.12 GAA and 0-2-0 against Tampa Bay in previous meetings with a 1.53 GAA. The Coyotes, meanwhile, were still 2nd from the bottom of the league with 61 points from 71 games prior to the back-to-back set and had a 10-20-4 road record. They were 4th in least goals scored per outing (2.34), 4th in most goals allowed on average (3.17), 4th from the bottom in power play with a 14.6% success rate and 4th worst in penalty kill as well, registering 77.5% proficiency.
Despite getting some decent results by playing with six rookies in the squad due to injuries lately, the Tampa Bay Lightning (34-28-9) couldn’t overcome the league-leading Washington Capitals at Amalie Arena on Saturday, losing a consecutive game for the first time since Feb. 2. The 5-3 defeat followed the 5-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs two days prior and weakened Tampa Bay’s recent record to 4-2-0 in its past six games. Nikita Kucherov (33 goals, 71 points this term) scored twice, with Alex Killorn (17 goals, 31 points) also getting on the score-board. Brayden Point (12 goals, 29 points) registered two assists.
Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed four goals on 34 shots and has now gone 17-15-6 for the current campaign with a 2.64 GAA. He has collected a victory in his only previous start against the Arizona Coyotes, allowing just one goal on 30 shots during the 2-1 win for the Bolts on Feb. 23, 2016. He made another six saves against the ‘Yotes during an 18-minute performance in relief to Ben Bishop in January, when Arizona beat the Lightning 5-3. Tampa Bay is currently 18th in the league with 77 points from 71 outings, trailing the playoff race just by two points with an extra game already played. The Bolts are 13th in least goals netted per fixture (2.68), 15th in least goals given up on average (2.73), 4th in power play with a 22.3% return and 18th in penalty kill with 80.4% efficiency.
The Coyotes have not been doing too well during second games of their back-to-backs, winning just five of the previous 19. That is a great opportunity for the Lightning to bounce back, especially knowing their home record against Arizona, who has been beaten six times in its past eight visits to Tampa Bay…
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Last Updated: March 21, 2017
Valdis got his first ever article published when he was 13, and has rarely stopped. He has worked for FHM, MTV Baltics and has done loads of freelance (from columns for Cosmopolitan magazine to helping with organization of Macy Gray’s shows in the Northern Europe). Speaks five different languages, loves pizza, American Horror Story and pipe organ music, and knows European soccer better than dates of his family members’ birthdays. Is an avid fan of ice-hockey too. He is a Latvian after all...