After a tough 4-3 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals, it will get tougher for the Vancouver Canucks for the third game of a seven game homestand. Up next are the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Lightning are the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions and have a 37-15-6 record and are second in the Atlantic Division. Sunday’s game will be the second of a back-to-back as they played the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night losing 4-1. That was their third straight loss.
Vancouver and Tampa Bay last met on January 13 at Amalie Arena and the Bolts won 4-2. The Lightning last played in Vancouver on December 19, 2018 and they beat the Canucks 5-2.
It turns out that the Lightning had trouble leaving Edmonton on Saturday night due to a mechanical issue on their plane.
The Canucks have a 29-23-7 record and have 65 points which are three points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the final wild card spot and also three behind the Oilers for third in the Pacific Division.
Here is how the Canucks lined up for the Sunday morning skate. Noah Juulsen was called up from Abbotsford on Sunday morning.
Boudreau confirmed that it was a maintenance day for Elias Pettersson.
Sheldon Rempal spoke to the media and that could be a sign he could make his Canucks debut Sunday night against the Lightning.
“I owe a lot of credit to the guys I’ve been playing with in Abbotsford,” said Rempal.
Boudreau spoke about how the Canucks should not take the Lightning lightly despite them playing the second of a back-to-back.
“I was trying to think of the last time they lost four in a row and I don’t know if it’s been since (Lightning head coach) Jon Cooper’s been here,” said Boudreau. ” The wounded beast is still the Tampa Bay Lightning. They’re still two-time Stanley Cup Champions. The day you start taking that team lightly is the day you’re in trouble.”
The Lightning went with Brian Elliott in goal Saturday night in Edmonton so that means Andrei Vasilevskiy will get the start Sunday. For the Canucks, it will most likely be Thatcher Demko between the pipes.
Players to watch
Vancouver Canucks- J.T. Miller: The former Bolt is on fire right now and he has 23 points in his last 11 games. Since the All-Star break, his 25 points put him in a four-way tie for second in the NHL during that time span. Miller is tied with Elias Lindholm of the Calgary Flames and Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Tampa Bay Lightning- Victor Hedman: The Lightning defenceman has six points in his last five games and his 57 points is second on the team behind Steven Stamkos.
Puck drop is at 7:00 PM. You can watch the game on Sportsnet Pacific or listen to it on Sportsnet 650.