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|Vegas Golden Knights
|Tampa Bay Lightning
Statistically, these two teams are pretty similar. The Golden Knights shoot more, but they both give up about the same amount of goals and score the same amount of goals. One of the big differences between these teams is goaltenders. The Tampa Bay Lightning have one of the best netminders in the NHL in Andrei Vasilevskiy and the Golden Knights have a mediocre goaltender in Robin Lehner.
The Golden Knights are putting together a great season, but they have not been great since the NHL returned from postponement. They are 5-4-3 since the NHL returned. The Golden Knights do not have one star, but they have a handful of good players that could make up for it. They have a talented roster that could make a deep run, but they need to string some wins together.
There is a reason the Tampa Bay Lightning are one of the best teams in the league. They have one of the best goalies in the NHL in Andrei Vasilevskiy, a top center in Steven Stamkos, and a top defenseman in Victor Hedman. I would not be surprised if they repeat as Stanley Cup Champions.
Tampa Bay Lightning beat Vegas Golden Knights 5-3.
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|Vegas Golden Knights
|Tampa Bay Lightning
|25-16-3 (1st in Pacific Division)
|29-10-5 (2nd in Atlantic Division)
|Chandler Stephenson (38)
|Steven Stamkos (51)
|Jonathan Marchessault (19)
|Steven Stamkos (20)
|Chandler Stephenson (26)
|Victor Hedman (36)
|Zach Whitecloud (14)
|Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (14)
|Jonathan Marchessault (3.41)
|Shots (Per Game)
|Steven Stamkos (2.77)
The Vegas Golden Knights are the underdogs in this road battle, but they put together a good season and can pull out this victory. However, they must focus on drawing penalties and stopping center Steven Stamkos if they want any chance of winning this game.
The Golden Knights have a mediocre power-play unit. They only convert on 20% of their power-plays. Since they are not very successful on the power-play, they need to focus on creating a lot of them. If they create a lot of power-plays, they will have a lot of opportunities to score. In addition, every time the Lightning are down a man, they are not going to try to score.
Steven Stamkos is having another excellent season. Stamkos was just voted in for his seventh All-Star Game. For those hockey historians out there, that is a Lightning franchise record. Stamkos has 20 goals, 31 assists, and a +/- of 10. He is too talented with the puck in his hands and the Lightning must slow him down.
The Lightning are the favorites to win this game and the better team. However, this will still be a tough game for them. They are facing a Golden Knights team that scores a lot and shoots a lot. That is why they need to focus on limiting the Golden Knights shots and overwhelming the Golden Knights with shots. If that sounds a little confusing, I will explain.
The Golden Knights shoot an impressive 34 times per game. When a team shoots that much, they tend to score a lot. The Lightning have to limit the amount of shots the Golden Knights take and hold them to under 30. This will be very difficult because the Golden Knights have four players who all have over 100 shots this season.
Offensively, the Lightning need to look to shoot as much as possible. They will likely be facing Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner. Lehner is not a bad starting goaltender, but he could be better. Since Lehner does let the occasional bad shot slip in, the Lightning have to take shots that they might not take against better goalies. One of those bad shots could slip past Lehner and be the difference between a Lightning victory and a Lightning defeat.
Defenseman Shea Theodore is having a great season for the Golden Knights. He has eight goals, 23 assists, and plays over 22 minutes a game. He is the Golden Knights key player because he is so versatile
Theodore has been playing quite well over the last five games. He has one goal and five assists. Since he has a lot of momentum from these last five games, the Lightning need to always be aware of where he is. If they look away for too long, Theodore might just have another assist.
There are a couple Lightning players that are x-factors. Defensively, Tampa Bay’s x-factor is Victor Hedman. Hedman’s impact on the Lightning is significant. He has nine goals, 36 assists, and a +/- of 12. He also leads the Lightning in Time On Ice (TOI) with a TOI of 24:31.
Hedman is an incredible defenseman, but he excels on the power-play. He has two power-play goals and 15 power-play assists this season. He is always looking to pass to the open man.
The Golden Knights need to be very cautious when the puck is in Hedman’s hands.
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|Vegas Golden Knights vs Tampa Bay Lightning Information
|Vegas Golden Knights vs Tampa Bay Lightning
|Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
|Saturday, January 29, 7:00 PM EST
|How to Watch
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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