Two high-powered offenses meet again and the Lightning hope for a different outcome

New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning: GAME# 27

Time: 7:30 pm Eastern Time (2:30pm Hawaiian)

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: Ms+2, SunS

Opponent SBNation Site: Lighthouse Hockey

The Tampa Bay Lightning look to make it two wins in a row as they play host to Josh Ho-Sang and the New York Islanders on Tuesday night. Coming off one of the better games over the last couple of weeks, a 5-1 win against San Jose, the Lightning hope that the Islanders are worn out from their shootout win against the Panthers on Monday night.

All indications point to the match-up being another high-scoring affair as the two teams are at the top of the league when it comes to scoring goals. The Islanders lead the league in lighting the lamp with a 3.73 goals-for-per-game average. With Jaroslav Halak getting the start against the Panthers on Monday night, the Lightning will look to improve their 3.62 GF/G against Thomas Greiss and his not-so-good-really-kind-of-bad 3.61 Goals Against Average.

Greiss is currently rolling on a five-game streak of giving up at least 3 goals in each game. Oddly enough he’s won four of those games (including a 5-3 victory over the Lightning on November 18th). The fact that the Islanders averaged 5 goals per game during the streak has helped mask the difficulties he’s had in doing his job.

NHL: New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The offense is led by the free-agent-to-be (and friend of Stamkos) John Tavares who has 17 goals and 30 points. He’s joined at the top of the scoring sheets by Anders Lee (16 goals), Jordan Eberle (19 points) and 20-year-old wunderkind Mathew Barzal (24 points). [Tavares to Tampa! – Acha]

It’s been a trying season for the Islanders who have had to deal with arena issues, contract issues and a competitive Metropolitan Division. How competitive? The win against Florida allowed the Islanders to leapfrog three teams in the division. The top five teams are all within 2 points of each other.

The Lightning will be looking to exact a little revenge on the Islanders. It was the 5-3 loss on home ice that sent the Lightning into the month-ending tailspin that saw them lose four out of six games. Hopefully, the dominating win over San Jose is an indication that they remembered that they actually have to put in a full game’s effort in order to win.

Veteran defender Jamie McBain was recalled from Syracuse late on Monday, an indication that perhaps Braydon Coburn and Jake Dotchin will be out for at least one more game.

It is possible that McBain makes his Lightning debut if Coach Cooper goes with an 11/7 line-up, but he seemed pleased with the way the lines played against San Jose with 12 forwards in the lineup and there is a good chance that he keeps going with that.

All four of the lines looked comfortable playing together against the Sharks. Tyler Johnson responded to his promotion to the Stamkos line (a line that now features three players that could technically be considered centers – they should win all of the face offs) with two goals. Kucherov and Palat looked like they hadn’t missed a beat playing together and even the third line looked dangerous in the offensive zone.

Comparison chart:

Instead of a preview chart, please enjoy this Islanders commercial from 1995. I think cocaine may or may not have been involved with the production of this ad.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Vlad Namestnikov-Steven Stamkos-Tyler Johnson

Ondrej Palat-Brayden Point-Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn– Yanni Gourde-Cory Conacher

Chris Kunitz-JT Brown/ Cedric PaquetteRyan Callahan

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman-Andrej Sustr

Mikhail Sergachev-Anton Stralman

Slater KoekkoekDan Girardi

Goaltenders

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Peter Budaj

New York Islanders

Forward Lines

Anders Lee – John Tavares –Josh Bailey

Andrew Ladd – Mathew Barzal -Jordan Eberle

Brock Nelson– Alan Quine-Joshua Ho-Sang

Jason ChimeraCasey CizikasCal Clutterbuck

Defense Pairings

Nick LeddyJohnny Boychuk

Calvin de Haan – Adam Pelech

Thomas HickeyRyan Pulock

Goalies

Thomas Greiss

Jaroslav Halak


Article first appeared on www.draysbay.com