Preview: Tampa Bay at Arizona

When: 8:00 PM  ET, Saturday, January 21, 2017
Where: Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona
Matchup Edge
TB Edge in: ARI
Offense
Defense
Power Play
Penalty Kill
Face Offs
Discipline
Goaltending


The Tampa Bay Lightning cleared up some issues on the defensive end of the ice in the last five games, but their offense has suddenly gone cold. The Lightning managed only five goals in the last four games and need to turn things around quickly to stay in the race for a playoff spot as they prepare to visit the struggling Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night.

Jonathan Drouin scored the only goal for Tampa Bay in Thursday’s 2-1 loss at San Jose as it fell to 1-1-1 on its six-game road trip despite allowing four regulation tallies. “It’s not for a lack of trying, not for lack of chances,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper told reporters. “The shooting sights are off on the stick, too many missed nets. It’s killing us.” Arizona dropped four straight contests after a 4-3 loss at Minnesota on Thursday and allowed 19 goals in its last five outings – 10 in the past two. The Coyotes expect to have Martin Hanzal (nine goals) back in the lineup after the veteran center missed the last two games for a personal reason.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Sun (Tampa Bay), FSN Arizona Plus

ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (21-21-5): Drouin has been the most consistent offensive player since Dec. 1 with 23 points in 22 games and scored a highlight-reel goal Thursday, looping around the entire San Jose defense to score in the second period. “That’s just a big time skill play by a big time skill player,” Cooper told reporters of Drouin, who has seven of his 14 goals on the power play. Tampa Bay hopes to get Victor Hedman (38 points, team-leading 31 assists) back in the lineup after the All-Star defenseman missed the last three games because of illness.

ABOUT THE COYOTES (13-26-6): Arizona shook things up Thursday when it sent left wing Anthony Duclair and center Laurent Dauphin to the AHL, activated center Ryan White and recalled 19-year-old forward Christian Fischer, who could make his NHL debut. Forward Alexander Burmistrov posted a pair of assists in three games with the Coyotes after he was claimed on waivers from Winnipeg. Goalie Mike Smith could get to face his former team after being rested Thursday, but gave up six goals in his last start and is 2-3-0 versus Tampa Bay.

OVERTIME

1. Tampa Bay RW Nikita Kucherov notched an assist Thursday to push his team-leading total to 42 points, but did not register a shot on goal.

2. Arizona RW Radim Vrbata, who played briefly for the Lightning in 2008-09, has five points in five games and leads the team with 29.
 
3. The Lightning won the last four meetings, including a 2-0 victory at Arizona last season with G Ben Bishop stopping all 32 shots.

PREDICTION: Lightning 5, Coyotes 2

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Tampa Bay 21-21-3-2 L2 12-8-1-1 9-13-2-1 2-3-1-0 19-18-2-2 9-3-1-1
Arizona 13-26-5-1 L4 8-11-1-1 5-15-4-0 1-1-0-0 12-25-5-1 4-9-5-0

Last Meeting

Tampa Bay Arizona
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
3/19/16 TB 2 ARI 0 36 32 0-4 32 34 0-6

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
TB V. Hedman 1
ARI K. Aulie 0
Goals Player  
TB N. Kucherov 1
ARI K. Aulie 0
Assists Player  
TB V. Hedman 1
ARI K. Aulie 0
Saves Player  
TB B. Bishop 32
ARI L. Domingue 34
Season
Total Points Player  
TB N. Kucherov 42
ARI R. Vrbata 29
Goals Player  
TB N. Kucherov 17
ARI R. Vrbata 10
Assists Player  
TB V. Hedman 31
ARI R. Vrbata 19
Saves Player  
TB A. Vasilevskiy 645
ARI M. Smith 819

Quickchart Matchup

Tampa Bay Off vs  Arizona Def
2.66 GF
3.24 GA
29.7 Shots
33.5 Shots
39 PP
35 PK
Arizona Off vs  Tampa Bay Def
2.07 GF
2.87 GA
28.1 Shots
30 Shots
20 PP
31 PK

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Tampa Bay Overall Arizona
21-21-3-2 W/L 13-26-5-1
24-23 ATS 27-18
22-20 O/U 15-26
2.66 Goals For 2.07
2.87 Goals Agnst 3.24
Tampa Bay A/H Arizona
9-13-2-1 W/L 8-11-1-1
13-12 ATS 15-6
10-13 O/U 5-14
2.44 Goals For 2.14
2.80 Goals Agnst 2.81