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NHL Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens

Line Breakdown

Straight up, Tampa Bay is 17-26 going 6-16 on the road and is 23-16-4 Over. Montreal is 26-16, straight up, going 22-20 Over.

Injuries

Defensemen, Mattias Ohlund and goalie, Anders Lindback, are still out indefinitely for Tampa bay with a knee and ankle injury respectively. Tampa Bay center, Tom Pyatt, is questionable for this game with an upper body injury. Montreal will be without right winger, Colby Armstrong, who is suffering from a lower body injury and left winger, Brandon Prust, will be probable for this game.

Match-Up

In their last match-up, Montreal gave Tampa Bay a home loss by beating them 4-3 in a very exciting and close game that went to a shootout. Both teams were in similar losing fashions during that time period so any sort of win was going to be a huge boost to their spirits. Fast forward a little more than a month later and the same scenario seems to be taking shape but this time Montreal will be the host team.

Both teams are on a current losing streak as Tampa Bay has lost 4 straight games and Montreal has lost 3 out of their last 4. With the regular season winding down, Tampa Bay simply wants to save face and upset a few more teams on the way out and Montreal is looking to make a statement that they’re the best team in the Eastern Division as they’ve secured a playoff berth and are only behind Pittsburgh in the Eastern standings. As the season is drawing ever closer to the playoffs, Montreal may not want to risk their starters and save them for when it really matters, however, they are now simply playing for seeding rights and could choose to lay off on a few games to get the match-up they want later down the line. No team likes losing as they go into the post season so time will tell how Montreal treats the situation.

Tampa Bay (17-22-4 Southeast Division) are lead in points and goals by Center, Steve Stamkos, with 53 points and 27 goals on the season so far. Right winger, Martin St. Louis, leads the Tampa Bay Lightning in assists with 41 this season. As a team, Tampa Bay is averaging 3.1 goals per game and has been in a power play 19.1% of the time. Montreal is lead in points by defensemen, P.K. Subban, who has 36 points on the season and Tomas Plekanec (C) leads the team in goals with 13. Collectively, Montreal is averaging 3.0 GPA with a 21.1% in power plays.

Sources: ESPN

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