Canadiens vs. Lightning: Game Preview, Start Time, and TV Schedule
The second night of a back-to-back sees the Habs welcome a tough Atlantic Division foe.
While the Canadiens extended their undefeated run last night in New York, the team will have little time to think about it as they head back home to host the Tampa Bay Lightning for their second game in as many nights.
The run the Habs have been on has been nothing short of impressive - and it seems to be a recurring theme for this club to get off to hot starts in October. The trouble, at least until last night, was that the Habs had often been outplayed and winning despite that thanks to reliable goaltending and effective finishing.
Wednesday night, however, the Canadiens showed just what they’re capable of. Dominating the flow of play for much of the game, the Habs took the Islanders to task in a game that was never as close as the score indicated. Though they may not have been facing the stiffest opposition, maybe last night’s contest was just what the Habs needed to work out the kinks in their system.
How to Watch
Start Time: 7:30 PM EDT / 4:30 PDT
National: Sportsnet 360 (English), RDS (French)
In the Lightning Region: SUN
Stream: NHL GameCentre Live, Sportsnet Now
In the Lightning, the Canadiens will meet the team that many observers pegged as the favourite to come out of the Atlantic Division this season, and it’s no surprise why when you look at their roster. Tampa Bay is a well-built team with strength at every position - one that should pose the Habs their greatest threat of this young season.
While the Lightning sit just behind the Habs in their division, the level of play hasn’t really been comparable - at least statistically speaking. Tampa has had a great deal of success early on this year thanks largely to strong possession play, which is something the Habs will need to be cognizant of as they continue to struggle with shot differentials.
Steven Stamkos, who this time last year we weren’t sure would be back in a Lightning uniform, has unquestionably led the way - a welcome sign after scoring at a reduced pace in 2015-16. While 36 goals was impressive last season, Stamkos is capable of much more and he has shown that through six games, netting five.
Joining Stamkos, of course, are a few other lethal offensive weapons who the Habs will need to respect. Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn both sit at-or-above a point-per-game, while the likes of Vladislav Namestnikov and Ondrej Palat are positive possession players with four points apiece.
Victor Hedman, of course, is the Lightning’s leader defensively and has delivered exactly what you would expect, representing a threat on both ends of the rink. The second best possession player on the team, Hedman is able to drive the play as well as any top pairing defenceman in the NHL, which has had great results thus far for the Bolts.
Tonight’s meeting is one that pits two budding rivals against one another for the first time this year. The season series is one that should represent a battle for tops in the Atlantic Division, and both sides will be hoping to get a leg-up on the competition tonight.