The Tampa Bay Lightning begin a tough week of games starting tonight against the former division rival Washington Capitals. The Lightning went 1-2-1 in four games against the Capitals last year and outscored Washington 8-3 in the third period. Tampa Bay is winless, however, in its past fives games at Washington going 0-2-3 and will look to pick up a victory for the first time since January of 2011.
For the Lightning, Tuesday night marks the first game on the road where the team will play four of its next five games. A key to the Lightning making the playoffs this year will be improving play on the road where so far Tampa Bay has compiled a record of just 6-7-1 and have played dreadful the past couple seasons.
Although the Lightning have been getting stellar starts from both goalies in Ben Bishop and Anders Lindback, Tampa Bay continues to struggle to find the back of the net. Even though injuries have played a large role in the team’s offensive struggles, the Lightning will look to regain some offensive momentum with captain Martin St. Louis and veteran Valtteri Filppula leading the charge.
The task does not get any easier for the Lightning who will now face teams that are in second and third place in their respective divisions over the next couple days. It will be vital for the Lightning over the course of this week to come out of the gates flying as the team has the second best winning percentage in the NHL when scoring the game’s first goal.