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Preview, Game Day #26: Tampa Bay Lightning @ Los Angeles Kings

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The homestand ends tonight with the Tampa Bay Lightning, whose stats are so weird this year they defy a pithy summing-up.

a window into my soul
a window into my soul
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay LightningLos Angeles Kings

Time: 7:00 Pacific

TV: Fox Sports West, SUN Sports

Enemy ReadingRaw Charge

Los Angeles Kings

Pearson-Kopitar-Gaborik
Lucic-Carter-Toffoli
Andreoff-Shore-Brown
Clifford-Weal-Nolan

McNabb-Doughty
Muzzin-Martinez
Ehrhoff-McBain

Quick
(Enroth)

Scratched: Forbort Injured: King, Lewis, Greene

Tampa Bay Lightning

Killorn-Filppula-Stamkos
Drouin-Namestnikov-Kucherov
Brown-Boyle-Callahan
Nesterov-Marchessault-Condra

Hedman-Stralman
Carle-Garrison
Coburn-Sustr

Vasilevskiy
(Bishop)

Stats & Such
(Fancy stats courtesy War on Ice)

Team Lightning Kings
Record 13-11-3 16-8-1
Points 29 33
Division Rank 6th 1st
Streak Won 2
Won 3
Goals For/Game 2.41 2.60
Goals Against/Game 2.30
2.16
ES Goal % 57.9
48.6
ES Shot %
50.8 55.1
ES PDO 101.8 98.4
ES Corsi % 51.6 57.4
ES Fenwick % 51.5 56.7
ES Scoring Chance % 50.1 56.0
ES High-Danger SC % 48.6 55.0
Power Play % (Rank) 17.6 (21st)
19.5 (13th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 75.9 (26th)
83.9 (5th)
Starting Goalie (tonight) Vasilevskiy Quick
Goalie Record 2-3-0 13-7-1
Save % .917 .915
ES Save % .947
.923

Notes:

  • Hi friends, happy to be with you here on this beautiful Sunday. Hi haters, don't read my articles or I'll have you arrested.
  • So the Kings and the Lightning play a game of hockey tonight. A win tonight would give the Kings a perfect record on their four-game homestand, a nice little exclamation point on what's been a hell of a start to the season for them, all things considered. Nick went over how difficult the Kings' schedule has been (and thus how impressive their play has been) earlier, and over at THX BUD our pal Chanelle covered the Kings' very impressive puck possession & scoring chance suppression numbers so far. I guess the theme today is basically "ain't the Kings great", which is not something we coordinated at all but juts kind of happened because they are!
  • The Lightning, meanwhile, are pretty much the same team they were the last time we played them (all of 11 days ago in Tampa): a slightly above-average team with a lot of weird numbers. They have puck possession that's solidly above 50% (and nearly identical Corsi & Fenwick, which is not all that common), but a scoring chance % that is nearly the textbook definition of average, and a decidedly below-average % of high-danger chances. Their even strength PDO clearly says they're getting lucky there and their special teams is another mixed bag: they're getting a terrible .853 sv% on the PK (9th worst in the league), but on the other hand on the power play they've been extremely lucky. Their 16.1% shooting percentage on the PP is the 5th highest in the league, but they're generating the fewest shots per 60 minutes on the man advantage of any team in the NHL (39.4; the next worst is Calgary at 41.7, so that's a pretty big gap). Basically the conclusion I have for you on Tampa is: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • The Kings are already doing their best to hand Tampa the win tonight though, as it appears Jonathan Quick will start in net again tonight after he started (and was pretty bad in!) yesterday's win over Pittsburgh. This is one of the most infuriating lessons that Darryl Sutter refuses to ever learn: stop using your starter in both games of a back-to-back! Geez, why is this so hard? (In Darryl's defense, this is certainly not the dumbest decision a Los Angeles-based sports team has made today.)
  • The Lightning will likely have backup Andrei Vasilevskiy in net tonight, after he came in net to spell Ben Bishop yesterday when Bishop was cut by a skate blade. Bishop looks to be okay enough to at least be the backup tonight, but he was likely getting the night off anyway. You may remember Andrei from two games against the Kings last year, when he stopped 44 of 48 shots. The Kings and backups, right?
  • If you're looking to find out which Mega Man villain are you, Lightning, we've done this already! Go check out our last Kings-Lightning preview for the answer. If you like, you can add a dramatic pause before you click on it and then yell "DUN DUN DUN" as you do.
  • PREDICTION: Kings wins 4-0, just like they finish this homestand! H*ck yeah! (Oh no an asterisk, I hope everyone will be okay.)