The defending champion Lightning were throttled in their season opener and hit the road to face the Red Wings, who will be makingtheir season debut.
The Lightning won it all last season but they were crushed in their season-opener giving up six goals. While the team kept most of their key players from last season they did have a lot of turnover and lost their entire third line. While on the road they have won nine of their last 12 games facing the Red Wings in Detroit.
The Red Wings are playing in their season-opener and they look to rebound from last season when they failed to make the playoffs. They made some changes in the off-season, have some exciting young talent, and some players back. The one big issue for Detroit is the attack, as the team averaged the fewest goals in the league last season.
Not the Best StartIn their season-opener the Lightning were at home and were pummeled losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-2. Not a great game to say the least after hanging their championship banner in the rafters. In the loss they were down 3-0 before scoring their first goal and they gave up four goals in the third period. Anthony Cirelli and Alex Killorn scored in the losing effort and Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed three goals on 32 shots and was pulled early allowing Pittsburgh to score three empty net goals.
Nikita Kucherov led the league in points and assists in last season’s playoffs after missing the regular season and he did not have a shot on goal in the loss to the Penguins. The team is still loaded with the likes of Kucherov and Brayden Point, who led the team last season in points and goals. The defense did not look in sync in the first game but may get back on track in this game facing a Detroit attack that was terrible last season.
High HopesThe Red Wings finished last season tied for the fourth fewest points in the NHL. Not only did the attack struggle but the defense did as well. Alex Nedeljkovic was signed in the off-season and he will likely be the #1 G for the team unless veteran Thomas Greiss steps up. The sixth overall pick in the 2018 draft in Filip Zadina will be playing in his first full NHL season and will play on the wing of captain Dylan Larkin. Tyler Bertuzzi is also poised to have a good season after missing all of last season.
Two rookies are getting big hype in DF Moritz Seider and FW Lucas Raymond.
Suider will be making his NHL debut and won the SHL Defenseman of the Year award last season. Raymond is only 19 years old and many thought he would start the season in the minors. However, the fourth pick of the 2020 draft has drawn praise from coaches for his play on both sides of the ice and will play against the Lightning.
The Detroit Red Wings are:
- 33-90 in their last 123 overall
- 20-56 in their last 76 vs. Eastern Conference
- 35-80 in their last 115 vs. Atlantic
The Tampa Bay Lightning are:
- 17-4 in their last 21 games following a home loss of 3 or more goals
- 69-25 in their last 94 games playing on 1 days rest
- 86-33 in their last 119 vs. Eastern Conference