|5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:� BRT, November 25, 2022
Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida Attendance: 19,092
Blues, Lightning to meet, both coming off tough losses
St. Louis Blues at Tampa Bay Lightning
- The Blues and Lightning split the two games they played against each other last season with each team winning at home: 4-3 for St. Louis on November 30 (via a shootout) and 4-2 for Tampa Bay three days later. The Blues lead the all-time series between the teams, 29 wins to 15 (with three ties).
- The Blues have scored a power-play goal in each of their last four games, their longest PPG streak this season. But St. Louis is one of the three NHL teams that have not scored more than one power-play goal in a game this season, along with New Jersey and Philadelphia.
- Thomas Greiss is 9-6-2 with a 2.74 GAA and two shutouts in his 18 regular-season games versus the Lightning, including a win in each of his last three games against them. The only NHL team Greiss has more wins against than Tampa Bay is Columbus (12, in 28 games).
- The Lightning were credited with 43 hits in their loss to the Bruins on Monday, tying their high for a game this season (set Nov. 5 in a 5-3 win over Buffalo). Tampa Bay is averaging 26.7 hits per game this season, ninth highest in the NHL.
- Nick Paul scored two of Tampa Bay's three goals in their loss to Boston. It was Paul's first two-goal game this season and third in the 40 regular-season games he's played since the Lightning got him in a trade with Ottawa on March 20. Paul had only two two-goal games in the seven seasons he played with the Senators (227 games).
- Andrei Vasilevskiy is 4-3-1 with a 3.11 GAA and .898 save percentage in the eight games he's played this month. Vasilevskiy's November save percentage ranks him 23rd among the 30 NHL goaltenders who've played at least six games this month.
- Leafs' Matthews out 3 weeks, to miss ASG
- Devils rally, Hughes beats Stars in OT
- Halak, Rangers down struggling Knights
- Necas scores late and in OT, 'Canes win
- Copley stops 41, Kings hold off Panthers
With his club having a light week on its schedule, Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper likely had time to stew a bit over a 5-3 loss to the NHL's top team, the Boston Bruins, on Monday night.
Fortunately for Cooper, he and his squad can return to their home rink Friday night and have post-Thanksgiving seconds when they host the St. Louis Blues.
Against the Bruins, who had opened the season 16-2 going into the game, Tampa Bay started fast on a Nicholas Paul goal, but the visitors matched it later in the first period. In the second, the Bruins scored three times and overwhelmed Cooper's team, which had won four straight games.
"Penalties, turnovers, a little bit of structure," Cooper said of his club's issues. "In the end, they weathered a little bit of our storm in the first period, and they get out of the period 1-1. Then they throw us their storm and it's 4-1.
"There's the difference in the game. ... That's why they're an elite team in the league: It doesn't go their way, they kept it together and stuck with it. When it didn't go our way, we didn't handle it that well."
In his postgame press conference, Cooper fielded the session's first question by being asked what it was like to be a part of Patrice Bergeron's 1,000th career point, which resulted in a Bruins mob celebration.
It was awkward question to ask of the losing coach, but Cooper was gracious in addressing the milestone and the play of the 19-year veteran captain of the Atlantic Division rival.
"I actually didn't want to see it tonight," Cooper said with a slight grin. "But if you're going to tell me we're going to lose the game, I'm glad I got to actually witness it live. I've coached against that guy for a lot of years, lot of battles and playoffs, and he's a helluva kid. I've gotten to know him over the years.
"You cheer for him and you marvel at all these years how he can still be an elite player."
Meanwhile, the Blues experienced something two nights later that was unusual lately: losing.
St. Louis had won seven straight games since their last loss, 5-1 in Philadelphia on Nov. 8, a defeat that dropped them five games under .500 at the time. But the Blues' winning streak ended in Buffalo, as they were overwhelmed 6-2 by the Sabres to start their three-game Eastern Conference road swing.
Buffalo's Jeff Skinner and Jack Quinn scored two goals each. Brayden Schenn and Pavel Buchnevich found the net for St. Louis.
In a hint of what could be a physical matchup in Tampa, Blues coach Craig Berube said his club failed to play its game in the four-goal blowout.
"We didn't check hard enough," said Berube. "They've got some real good skill over there, and they exposed us with it tonight, like beating our guys one on one. It happened too many times tonight."
St. Louis forward Brandon Saad (non-COVID illness) missed the matchup, but defenseman Torey Krug was back after a one-game absence and posted a minus-3.
The Blues and Lightning will complete their two matchups on Jan. 14 in St. Louis.
--Field Level Media
Updated November 24, 2022