(SportsNetwork.com) – Having snapped their slide on the road last time out,
the Tampa Bay Lightning return to Amalie Arena on Saturday evening looking to
extend their franchise-record home winning streak.
The Bolts put that run to the test against a Los Angeles Kings club that is
tied for the fewest road wins in the NHL.
Tampa Bay won its 10th straight game at home when it beat the Columbus Blue
Jackets 3-1 on Jan. 31. The Lightning then lost their fourth in a row on the
road as they fell in overtime to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, but they
snapped that skid with Thursday’s 5-3 decision over the hosting Dallas Stars.
Tyler Johnson, who hadn’t scored a goal in nine straight, netted a pair of
third-period tallies in the win. He is second on the club in goals scored and
leads all Lightning players with 51 points.
“Johnny’s line, who’s been snakebit a little bit here for five or six games,
they took over that third,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said.
Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Nikita Kucherov also scored and Andrei
Vasilevskiy made 33 saves in the win.
Tampa Bay remained on top of the Atlantic Division, two points ahead of
Detroit, but lost defenseman Jason Garrison to a lower-body injury in the win.
He is day-to-day.
Ben Bishop figures to start this evening for the Lightning and is 1-1-0
lifetime versus the Kings with a 3.35 goals against average and .885 save
percentage in four meetings (2 starts).
The Kings may struggle in challenging the Lightning’s home dominance as they
are a mere 5-12-6 on the road this season. They have lost the first three of a
five-game road trip that ends on Monday versus Columbus, including Thursday’s
3-2 setback to the Florida Panthers.
Jonathan Quick allowed three goals on 20 shots, including two on just seven
shots in the third period, while Jamie McBain and Marian Gaborik had goals in
defeat. Dustin Brown assisted on both tallies.
“We felt like we were having a good game and then obviously they score two
quick ones and all of a sudden we found ourselves behind again,” said McBain.
Los Angeles fell to 1-7-2 in its past 10 on the road and 2-6-4 in its last 12
overall. The Kings are five points back of a wild card spot.
Quick, though, has solid career numbers versus the Lightning, going 3-1-0 in
five games (4 starts) with a 1.19 GAA, .955 save percentage and one shutout.
The Kings have won four of their past five versus the Bolts overall and have
split their last four trips to Tampa.