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Scouting Report: Tampa Bay Lightning

by Paul Mawdsley / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- Coming off of the Christmas break, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Calgary Flames both got back in the win column.

The Lightning begin a four-game Western road trip when they hit the ice at the Scotiaback Saddledome on Tuesday.

Sitting fifth in the Atlantic with 42 points, Tampa Bay is only four points off of a playoff spot in the East. With the Flames only one points out of a playoff spot, this match-up will be of great importance for both squads.

The Lightning are coming off of a 3-2 shootout victory over the Minnesota Wild, while the Flames wrapped up a 4-0 shutout of the Colorado Avalanche.

Tampa Bay’s offence will have their work cut out as they try to beat the hot hand of Karri Ramo. It will be Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos leading the charge for the Lightning.

The power play could be a big factor for the Lightning as they currently sit with a 19.1 PP%. Stamkos and Kucherov have been deadly with the man-advantage, with nine and six power play goals respectively.

In net for the Lightning is 6-foot-6 Ben Bishop. The Denver, CO, native may lead the NHL in losses, but he still has 13 wins to his name and is fifth in the NHL in GAA at 2.06.

The 2005 third-rounder will present a challenge for the Flames forwards in the contest.

BREAKING DOWN THE LIGHTNING

Record: 19-16-4

2015-16 record vs. the Flames: 1-0-0

2014-15 record vs. the Flames: 2-0-0

Notable Injuries: F Joel Vermin

Who’s HOT: Nikita Kucherov

The 22-year-old right winger enters Tuesday’s game on an eight game point streak. Kucherov leads all Lightning forwards with 30 points (14g, 16a) in 39 games. The second-round pick has is on pace for 63 points, on par with his 2014-15 totals. A slow start hampered his numbers, but a 16-point month of December has him back on track and soaring up the charts in scoring.

Honourable Mention: Anton Stralman

The veteran defenceman is fourth in team scoring with four goals and 17 points through 39 skates this year. He heads into Tuesday's match-up on a three-game point streak, in which he has amassed one goal and four points.

Who’s NOT: Tyler Johnson

After notching 50 points in 2013-14, Johnson broke out even more in 2014-15 when he tallied 72 points in 77 games. With only 11 points in 26 points, his 2015-16 season has been rather disappointing. The diminutive forward has only recorded three points in his past 10 games and none of those have come in the last six. On pace for 34 goals, the Spokane, WA, native is having his lowest scoring year since he played only 14 games in his rookie season.

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