After sustaining their first loss of the season, the Carolina Hurricanes travel to Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay where they will take on the back-to-back defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning. But this is not the same vaunted Bolts team that beat the Canes in May, this roster has undergone some major changes.
With Tampa Bay’s entire 3rd line having moved on (one in the expansion draft, the other two in free agency) and their star Russian winger back on IR (insert cap circumvention joke here), Carolina cannot afford to leave the Bay area without a win. This is a game the Canes need to perform well in so they can at least take some positives from this road trip to Florida.
This will be the first time these two teams have met since game 5 where the Lightning shut the Canes out to eliminate them from the Stanley Cup playoffs. A chance at redemption for the Canes if you will. A chance to prove that they have overcome their previous demons against the Tampa Bay Lightning. We know that the Canes edged the Bolts to the division title last year so a win here would do a lot to prove that this team is different mentally.
Tampa has not been the conqueror of worlds they once were. A lowly 6-3-2 record is what the Lightning sit at right now, and they are currently 3rd in the division with a total of 14 points. Good enough to make the playoffs, not good enough for home ice. This is a chance for the Carolina Hurricanes to really show the world that they are good enough to become champions.