Tampa Bay Lightning Begin Vital Homestand

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

After a dreadful 0-3-1 West Coast trip this past week, the Tampa Bay Lightning will look to regain some early-season momentum as the team opens up a very important three-game homestand. On Monday night, the Lightning will face off against the New York Rangers. They will take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday, and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.

As injuries begin to pile up for the Lightning, the team announced the call-up of prospects Nikita Kucherov and Dmitry Korobov.

Although the Lightning have dropped down to third place in the Atlantic Division at a record of 14-8-1, the team still only sits three points behind the Boston Bruins for first place. As the Lightning look to pick up some vital points against quality teams this week, they must get back the solid goaltending and defense from very early on in the season.

Goalie Ben Bishop, although better in his last start, must get back to normal and provide stability for a Lightning team that currently lacks offensive scoring. Injuries to scorers such as Steven Stamkos, Tom Pyatt and now Ryan Malone have been really difficult for the Lightning to overcome so far this season.

It will also be important for the Lightning to receive scoring from its veterans in Martin St. Louis and Teddy Purcell. For the Lightning to remain relevant in a very competitive Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference playoff race, a homestand like this will be a perfect opportunity to rack up some important extra points. The Lightning have played better hockey this year, and will look for continued success on home ice.

Connor Akeman is a Tampa Bay Lightning and NHL writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook and join his Google network.

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