Coming off the back of two dominant wins, Carolina head down to the sunshine state where they will take on the reigning back-to-back Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning in another game against a daunting opponent. This is a game that on paper, will not be easy. However, Carolina has twice bettered their opponents for tonight in this season already. After how the last game between these two ended, this is going to be fun.
When these two teams last met, it ended with fire. After the game ended and the Tampa Bay Lightning were defeated, Carolina and Tampa clashed at center ice, and the teams clashed after continuous disagreements between their star players. This rivalry now shifts to Amalie Arena down in Florida, and Carolina is now being tasked with beating the bolts in their own barn.
Carolina is expected to be without Jesperi Kotkaniemi who suffered a scary injury at the end of last night’s game in Washington due to a braindead hit from a Washington Capital. Hold your shock and gasps for the end. This is awful news with Kotkaniemi becoming a more prevalent part of the team with every passing game. You have to hope for nothing but the best for Jesperi moving forward.
We will likely see Antti Raanta go for Carolina tonight and after the performance of the Finnish shot-stopper during the Canes’ 7-2 drubbing of the St Louis Blues, he’s going to have a lot of confidence as he is expected to suit up against Tampa Bay for the first time this season. Raanta has been a big part of this team for the entire season and the team will need him to come up big tonight.
Carolina completes this ridiculously difficult stretch of opponents as they travel to Tampa Bay again and take on the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Lightning. Once more, the team gets tested against the high-water mark of the NHL and they will look to come through this with shining colors. With the team being hotter than it’s been in a long time, they look to end this ridiculous stretch with a win.