Game 2 Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning @ Chicago Blackhawks

The Tampa Bay Lightning continue the 2013-2014 regular season tonight at the United Center against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, continuing their season-opening road trip against some of the best teams in the NHL.

Chicago is 1-0 on the season after their offense exploded in a 6-4 comeback win over the Washington Capitals on the first day of the season.

As expected for the Blackhawks, who have been an elite 5v5 team for years, the Blackhawks controlled the puck at even strength against the Capitals, who leaned heavily on their power play to crack the stout Chicago defense. Tampa Bay will need a better special teams effort against the Hawks than they got against the Bruins if they don’t want to fall into an 0-2 hole to start the season.

The Blackhawks aren’t going to score 6 goals a game, however, and they aren’t going to shoot at 15.0% (4th in the NHL) for the year either. Small sample sizes abound right now in the regular season’s infancy.

Chicago is a classic puck possession team, perhaps the best in the NHL today, playing excellent team defense and denying opposition teams quality scoring chances by dominating control of the puck. While Tampa Bay showed improvement in their possession game against the Bruins, Chicago will be another stiff test for Jon Cooper’s new roster and system. That said, a similar effort to the one seen in Boston on Thursday would be a good start if Tampa Bay can clean up some issues on the power play. While the Blackhawks have some very good defenseman (Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjlalmarsson) in their lineup, they lack an elite shutdown defender like Zdeno Chara capable of totally neutralizing the Stamkos/St. Louis line. Expect the league’s leading scorers from a season ago to find more time and space even though Chicago, like Boston, will have last change and get the match-ups they want against the dynamic duo.

Note that the 2012-2013 Head to Head stats section is empty. This is because there was no intra-conference play during the lockout-shortened 2012-2013 NHL regular season, so the Lightning and Blackhawks did not face each other last year. As part of the new NHL realignment, each team will play at least a home-and-home with each other team in the league, so the Lightning will face the Blackhawks tonight and again in Tampa on October 24th.

Day Date Location Time/Result
Saturday 10/5/2013 Chicago 8:00 p.m.
Thursday 10/24/2013 Tampa 7:30 p.m.

Active Rosters

Chicago (23)

# Name Position
2 Duncan Keith D
4 Niklas Hjalmarsson D
6 Mike Kostka D
7 Brent Seabrook D
8 Nick Leddy D
10 Patrick Sharp FW
16 Marcus Kruger FW
17 Sheldon Brookbank D
19 Jonathan Toews FW
20 Brandon Saad FW
22 Jimmy Hayes FW
26 Michal Handzus FW
27 Johnny Oduya D
28 Ben Smith FW
29 Bryan Bickell FW
32 Michal Rozsival D
39 Nikolai Khabibulin FW
42 Joakim Nordstrom FW
50 Corey Crawford G
52 Brandon Bollig FW
65 Andrew Shaw FW
81 Marian Hossa FW
88 Patrick Kane FW

Tampa Bay (23)

# Name Position
2 Eric Brewer D
3 Keith Aulie D
6 Sami Salo D
7 Radko Gudas D
8 Mark Barberio D
9 Tyler Johnson FW
11 Tom Pyatt FW
12 Ryan Malone FW
16 Teddy Purcell FW
17 Alex Killorn FW
18 Ondrej Palat FW
19 B.J. Crombeen FW
25 Matt Carle D
26 Martin St. Louis FW
30 Ben Bishop G
39 Martin St. Louis FW
44 Nate Thompson FW
51 Valtteri Filppula FW
62 Andrej Sustr D
71 Richard Panik FW
76 P.C. Labrie FW
77 Victor Hedman D
91 Steven Stamkos FW

2013-2014 Totals

Records

GP W-L-SOL PTS
CHI 1 1-0-0 2
TB 1 0-1-0 0

Team Stats

BLACKHAWKS

 STATE USA + USA – USA % SA + SA – SA % G + G – G % S% SV% S%+SV% (PDO)
All 40 39 50.6% 55 57 49.1% 6 4 60.0% 17.1% 87.5% 104.6
5v5 30 21 58.8% 42 34 55.3% 4 1 80.0% 16.0% 93.8% 109.8
5v5 Close 24 20 54.5% 35 30 51.5% 3 1 75.0% 15.0% 93.3% 108.3

LIGHTNING

 STATE USA + USA – USA % SA + SA – SA % G + G – G % S% SV% S%+SV% (PDO)
All 41 38 51.9% 53 54 49.5% 1 3 25.0% 3.0% 88.0% 91.0
5v5 29 31 41.9% 38 47 54.9% 1 1 50.0% 4.3% 95.0% 99.3
5v5 Close 19 17 52.8% 28 29 49.8% 1 1 50.0% 5.9% 90.9% 96.8

Player Scoring

NAME GP G A PTS PPG SHG GWG
Saad 1 1 2 3 0 0 0
Hjalmarsson 1 0 2 2 0 0 0
Hossa 1 1 1 2 0 0 0
Bollig 1 1 0 1 0 0 0
Handzus 1 0 1 1 0 0 0
Kane 1 1 0 1 0 0 0
Keith 1 0 1 1 0 0 0
Kruger 1 0 1 1 0 0 0
Oduya 1 1 0 1 0 0 1
Roszival 1 0 1 1 0 0 0
Seabrook 1 1 0 1 1 0 0
Toews 1 0 1 1 0 0 0

LIGHTNING

NAME GP G A PTS PPG SHG GWG
Brewer 1 0 1 1 0 0 0
Filppula 1 1 0 1 0 0 0
Killorn 1 0 1 1 0 0 0

Special Teams

PP PK
CHI 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
TB 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)

2012-2013 Head-to-Head

Schedule/Results

Team Stats

BLACKHAWKS

LIGHTNING

Player Scoring

BLACKHAWKS

LIGHTNING

Special Teams

Team stats cited from Extra Skater.

 

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