The Tampa Bay Lightning will aim to break a franchise record and win a 12th straight home game against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday.
Tampa Bay beat the NHL leading Boston Bruins 3-2 on Thursday to tie the record which was set in 2019/20.
The Lightning, 31-15-1 overall and 19-4-1 at home, are third in the Atlantic Division while the Kings, 28-17-6 and 14-8-4 on the road, are on a three-game winning streak and sit top of the Pacific Division, albeit having played more games than anyone else.
|Los Angeles Kings @ Tampa Bay Lightning
|Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
|US 19:00, Saturday 28th January
|How to watch:
|Los Angeles Kings +180, Tampa Bay Lightning
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos recently celebrated his 500th regular season goal, becoming the 47th player in NHL history to reach the milestone.
With six goals in his past four games and at least a point in each of the last nine games, 32-year-old Stamkos leads several Lightning stars who are in good form.
With 24 goals and 56 points in 47 games, Stamkos sits second on the team in both categories. Nikita Kucherov is the point leader with 71 (19 goals, 52 assists) while Brayden Point has the most goals with 28.
Kucherov is a contender for the Hart Memorial Trophy awarded to the NHL's most valuable player and he is +1800 to win it for a second time.
Tampa Bay has also enjoyed excellent contributions from Brandon Hagel (19 goals, 22 assists), Alex Killorn (14 goals, 20 assists) and Nick Paul (16 goals, 10 assists) and their depth will prove a stern test for the Kings.
In addition, Mikhail Sergachyov (6 goals, 27 assists) and Victor Hedman (3 goals, 29 assists) provide an offensive punch from the blue-line and make the Lightning's powerplay a serious threat.
The Lightning have averaged 3.60 goals per game this season which ranks fifth in the league and their impressive powerplay of 27.0% is second.
For the Kings to be successful they will need to stay out of the box as their 74.7% penalty-kill (24th in the NHL) doesn't match up well. Los Angeles won't mind their chances on the powerplay either after successfully scoring on 24% of their chances (10th) and Tampa Bay's penalty-kill being at 80.7% (13th).
No piece about the Kings is complete without mentioning netminder Pheonix Copley who is 15-3-0 and, in all essence, has saved Los Angeles' season.
Copley began the season as third choice but after well below-par performances from Cal Petersen and Jonathan Quick, he was given the opportunity to play and has performed well above expectations.
While his .884 save percentage isn't stand out, the 30-year-old has made key saves at crucial times for the Kings, and thanks to their high-powered offense has more often than not outperformed his opposite number to secure victory. This includes making 45 saves in LA's last game, a 3-4 road win over the Florida Panthers.
In large part due to their horrid start to the season, the Kings are allowing an average of 3.37 goals per game (22nd in the NHL) but when Copley has played that has dropped to 2.82.
While the Kings have had their defensive difficulties, they have had no such issue putting the puck in the net at the other end and their offence gives them a chance to beat anyone.
Averaging 3.20 goals per game (14th), the Kings are led by off-season acquisition Kevin Fiala with 51 points (17 goals, 34 assists). With 20, Adrian Kempe leads the goals column.
Both the Kings and Lightning have seven players with over 30 points and so enjoy good depth scoring, but Tampa Bay have a clear advantage at the top end of their line-up with three players over the 50-point mark while only Fiala has surpassed that for LA.
The Lightning will be out to avenge a rare defeat against the Kings in the first meeting between the two this season in which the Kings won 4-2 at Crypto.com Arena in late October.
It was the first time that the Lightning had lost to the Kings since December 2015 going 0-7-3 over that time.
All-time Tampa Bay Lightning are 28-12-2-2 against Los Angeles.
The Lightning are seeking to re-gain the Stanley Cup from Colorado Avalanche after they prevented Tampa Bay from being crowned champions for a third time in a row last season.
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