Tampa Bay at St. Louis
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
The Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning begin a four-game road trip against the top team in the West when they visit the injury-plagued St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night. The Lightning come in off sweeping a four-game homestand while St. Louis has also won four in a row, but is smarting from the loss of second-leading scorer Jaden Schwartz (ankle) for at least six weeks.
“It sucks,” Blues forward Brayden Schenn told the St. Louis Dispatch. “He’s having a great year. He’s doing it all for us, both ends of the ice and making stuff happen. … We have to find ways to step up and fill the big hole left by him.” Schenn will be depended on even more after the injury to Schwartz and the former fifth-overall draft pick has scored six times during a four-game goal streak to be named the NHL’s first star of the week Monday. Captain Steven Stamkos leads the NHL with 42 points and Nikita Kucherov boasts 41, but 21-year-old center Brayden Point has been just as important for Tampa Bay with three overtime winners and goals in each of the last three games. “(Point) is one of those guys who goes out there and feels if he doesn’t play well he’s going to get sent down,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper told reporters after Point’s winner in the extra session of Saturday’s 4-3 victory over Winnipeg. “That’s the kind of attitude that he has.” TV:
8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports NetworkABOUT THE LIGHTNING (21-6-2):
Kucherov reached 20 goals and Stamkos notched his 30th assist in Saturday’s victory while forward Yanni Gourde and rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev became the fifth and sixth players to get to 20 points. “I think we showed the depth of our team (Saturday),” Gourde told reporters after scoring his ninth goal. “Every line can score, and every line was effective this homestand.” Forward Tyler Johnson is warming up with two goals and five assists over the last four games, most of that time since he was moved into the top six up front.ABOUT THE BLUES (21-8-2):
Schenn leads the team with 37 points and Vladimir Tarasenko (33) has stepped up with two goals and two assists in the last three games while coach Mike Yeo will shuffle the forward lines to make up for the absence of Schwartz. “I think everybody gets an opportunity,” Yeo told reporters. “I don’t think we’re going to point to one person and say this is the guy that’s going to make up for the loss.” Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (foot), who has three assists in his last three games, missed the 3-2 overtime win over Buffalo on Sunday and is questionable.OVERTIME
1. Tampa Bay G Andrei Vasilevskiy, who boasts a .930 save percentage, has a chance to become the first in the NHL to reach 20 victories.
2. St. Louis G Jake Allen allowed only six goals while winning his last four starts and was named the NHL’s second star of the week.
3. The Lightning have won the last two meetings, including a 2-1 triumph in Tampa Bay on Oct. 14, but lost five straight at St. Louis.PREDICTION:
Blues 3, Lightning 2
Stats and Records