The Vancouver Canucks take on the Tampa Bay Lightning and both teams have had a promising start to the season. The Canucks have won 16 of their 35 games, while the Lightning have won 24 of their 38 games this season. The Canucks want to make up ground in the Pacific Division, while the Lightning want to stay near the top of the Atlantic Division, so the upcoming game should be a great matchup.
The Canucks defense has been very good this season.
The Canucks are having a promising start to the season, but hope the offense can step up as they are only scoring 2.51 goals per game. Conor Garland, Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller have combined for 32 goals and 48 assists to lead the top line, but the rest of the forward unit has struggled. Only six skaters have seven goals or more and opposing defenses can shut down the top forward unit as a result.
The offense has struggled, but the defense has been very good this season, allowing just 2.80 goals per game. Quinn Hughes and Tyler Myers have combined for 5.2 defensive points and 102 blocked shots, while Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Tucker Poolman and Luke Schenn have combined for 4.4 defensive points and 104 blocked shots to add depth to the unit. In addition, goaltender Thatcher Demko is having a great season in net with a .917 save percentage and a 2.64 goals-against average on 879 shots.
The Lightning offense has been very good this season.
The Lightning are having a great season with the offense leading the way and scoring 3.32 goals per game. Steven Stamkos, Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point have combined for 45 goals and 53 assists, while Alex Killorn, Anthony Cirelli and Corey Perry have added 31 goals and 45 assists to the top two lines, but the rest of the offense has also stepped up. Mathieu Joseph, Patrick Maroon and Nikita Kucherov have combined for 16 goals and 16 assists, while defensemen Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev have added nine goals and 47 assists from the point to put the offense over the top.
The offense has been very good for the Lightning, but the defense has also stepped up, allowing just 2.82 goals per game. Victor Hedman and Jan Rutta have combined for 4.7 defensive points and 86 blocked shots, while Mikhail Sergachev and Ryan McDonagh have combined for 3.3 defensive points and 112 blocked shots to give the Lightning two great defensive pairings. In addition, goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy is having a great season in net with a .924 save percentage and a 2.19 goals-against average on 840 shots.