The Nashville Predators will face the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning today on the road, an imposing task for a team that’s had some recent struggles. The Lightning are coming off an 8-1 win over the division-rival Toronto Maple Leafs, though their April has been largely up and down.
Steven Stamkos leads the team in points with 90, in goals with 34, and is tied with Victor Hedman for the lead in assists with 56. Hedman’s assist rate has him second overall in team scoring, with 75 points; the rest of the team hovers below 60, with Alex Killorn’s 58, and 25 goals, both in third. Brayden Point is the second-leading goalscorer with 27, while Ross Colton and Nikita Kucherov have also broken the 20-goal mark. Kucherov, who’s missed almost half the season to injury, has still accumulated his 54 points in 42 games; don’t overlook him because of the low overall total.
The Lightning’s offense is good but not great at 5v5, which combined with some poor shooting luck is probably the cause for the team’s general lack of spectacular offensive numbers despite all the talent on the roster, but their power play piles on the scoring chances. Ideally, the Preds won’t give it many opportunities tonight.
Defensively, they’re above-average at both 5v5 and 4v5, and combine that okay defense with good goaltending. Andrei Vasilevskiy has a .917 on the season, while Brian Elliot has a .915; a solid tandem with predictable results and not a lot of fluctuation.
How to Watch
The game airs at 6 PM Central on Bally Sports South and 102.5 The Game.
Statistics from naturalstattrick.com. Additional background from hockeyviz.com.