Montreal at Tampa Bay
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 16, 2019
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
The Tampa Bay Lightning have responded to a mini-scoring slump after the All-Star break by recording 22 goals during a four-game winning streak and look to continue their surge Saturday night when the Montreal Canadiens pay a visit. The Lightning lead the league in points (90), scoring (3.88 per game) and power-play percentage (29.8) after posting four goals in the first period of a 6-0 victory over Dallas on Thursday.
“It’s a ton of fun to come to the rink every day when things are going as well as they have this year,” Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos told reporters after netting two goals Thursday. “We’re a group that our tendency is to have some fun and relax and enjoy ourselves. When you’re doing that, you’re usually playing some good hockey and playing with confidence.” The Lightning, who managed seven goals in the first five games after the break despite going 2-1-2 in that stretch, own points in all eight games during February (6-0-2) and nine straight against the Canadiens (7-0-2). Montreal saw its six-game point streak (4-0-2) come to an end Thursday with a 3-1 setback at Nashville, failing to take advantage of 21 shots during the second period. “Our first period made it look like we were a team that hadn’t played in four or five days. We weren’t very good,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien told reporters. “In the second period, we seemed to get our legs going, we seemed to find our game, but we didn’t capitalize on our chances.” TV:
7 p.m. ET, NHL Network; CITY, TVA, Sportsnet East (Montreal), FS Sun (Tampa Bay)ABOUT THE CANADIENS (31-19-7):
Montreal unveiled its new fourth line as recently acquired Dale Weise and Nate Thompson joined holdover Nicolas Deslauriers to combine for six shots along with three hits Thursday. “They were good,” Julien told reporters. “I thought they gave us some energy, they gave us some scoring chances. You see Weisey block a big shot, gives your team some energy, some excitement to see guys throwing themselves in front of pucks. So they did their job.” Max Domi leads the team with 49 points while fellow forward Jonathan Drouin boasts nine of his 46 in the the last five games.ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (43-11-4):
Nikita Kucherov registered 11 of his league-leading 92 points in the last three games and is the first player in the league to reach 90 in the team’s first 58 games since Alex Ovechkin (2009-10). “We weren’t joking when we said we’re not worried about Kuch,” Stamkos told reporters of the Russian right wing, who was shut out in two games before the recent surge. “. … When he’s feeling it, it’s so much fun to watch and he’s a huge part of our offensive success.” Center Brayden Point has eight of his 74 points in the last four games and Stamkos scored four of his 32 goals in the past three outings.OVERTIME
1. Montreal D Shea Weber appeared in his 900th NHL contest Thursday and is two goals shy of 200 in his career.
2. Tampa Bay LW Alex Killorn scored his 12th goal of the season Thursday and needs one for 100 in his career.
3. Canadiens LW Tomas Tatar has scored in back-to-back games to push his total 18 - second on the team behind RW Brendan Gallagher (22).PREDICTION:
Lightning 4, Canadiens 2
Stats and Records