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4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT, February 12, 2019
Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida  Attendance: 19,092

Lightning, Flames clash in battle of East vs. West

Calgary Flames at Tampa Bay Lightning

  1. The Lightning beat the Flames, 5-4, in a shootout when these teams first met on December 20. Over the last 12 seasons, these teams have combined for 6.94 goals per game -- only one matchup has produced a higher combined scoring average in this span (Maple Leafs vs. Blackhawks, 7.13; minimum 10 games).
  2. Following a five-game stretch in which the team averaged 1.40 goals, the Lightning have now scored five goals in back-to-back games. Their 22 games with at least five goals this season are four more than any other team (Sharks, Maple Leafs - 18).
  3. Calgary took a season-high 47 shots on goal against the Canucks on Saturday, but the teams went a combined 0-for-10 on the power play and the Flames lost in a shootout. Calgary has lost back-to-back games for the first time since December 18-22 (three straight).
  4. Nikita Kucherov had his third multi-goal game of the season last time out, and his first since November 6. He also had an assist, giving him 12 three-point games this season. No other player in the NHL has any more than nine three-point games (four tied with nine).
  5. Brayden Point had a goal and an assist for the 15th time this season on Sunday. Only teammate Nikita Kucherov (18) has more such games this season. His 32 goals this season (through 55 games) are tied with his total from last season (in 82 games).
  6. Elias Lindholm scored a goal last time out that was assisted on by Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. That trio has combined for 18 goals this season, second most of any NHL trio. Colorado's Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog have combined for 22 goals.

The Eastern Conference and league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning are the hosts.

The visitors are the Calgary Flames, one of the top teams in the Western Conference.

Tuesday's tilt has all the makings of a heavyweight tilt. Except that while the Lightning are flying high, the Flames are floundering.

The Flames have just one win in their last four games (1-2-1) and have seen what was a six-point edge on their Western Conference, and Pacific Division, rivals dissipate.

Suddenly the Flames are struggling defensively and can't find the goal-scoring touch that made them such a potent club through December and January.

Their last game, a 4-3 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night, was a prime example. The defeat came despite firing 47 shots on goal through overtime in a game that was one-sided everywhere but on the scoreboard.

"You need these points at this time of the year," defenseman Travis Hamonic told Postmedia after the loss. "It's a grind, right? So every point matters and teams are close, things are tight. We thought it was a pretty good game on our part. We carried a lot of the play, but we just couldn't get it."

Sure, the Canucks rode a fantastic performance from goalie Jacob Markstrom to upset the Flames, but there's more at play with the Flames these days. Teams are ratcheting up their games as the playoff chase intensifies, so the Flames must tighten up their game at one end and bear down on the scoring chances at the other.

"We've got a lot of guys with a ton of skill that have put up some extremely high numbers so far this year, so we trust our guys, we trust our system and our skill level," Hamonic said. "You're going to have those games when it just seems like you can't get that extra one. We had some looks but just couldn't get over the hill."

As much as he must focus his charges on righting their wrongs, head coach Bill Peters has had just as big of a job these days ensuring they don't start spiralling downward.

After all, the Flames are 9-2-2 in their last 13 outings, so the message right now is staying upbeat is the best course of action through the struggles.

"We'll take some of the positives out of (Saturday's game) and move on to Florida," Peters said.

Meanwhile, the Lightning keep finding gold at every turn. Sunday's 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers not only meant a season-series sweep of their state rivals, but Tampa is a dozen points up on the rest of the league and even benefiting from huge performances from lesser lights.

Case in point: Backup goalie Louis Domingue has won 10 consecutive starts in goal, a franchise record, while Ryan Callahan -- a healthy scratch three straight games and inserted into the lineup because Ondrej Palat was injured -- collected the game-winning goal.

"It's always good to get an opportunity to get back in," Callahan told the Tampa Bay Times. "You want to contribute, so seeing that one go in is always good."

--Field Level Media

Updated February 11, 2019

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