The Tampa Bay Lightning resume their regular season tomorrow night against the Nashville Predators. There are just 24 games remaining, and the Bolts are 3rd in the Eastern Conference standings. Here are 3 games you should circle on your calendar that could have the biggest impact on the Lightning’s playoff push.
1) March 8th VS BOSTON
While Steven Stamkos will probably return to the lineup March 6th against Buffalo, the next game on the schedule is perhaps the Lightning’s biggest of the year. The Bruins lead the Atlantic division ahead of Tampa Bay. The Lightning are 0-3 against the Bruins this year, and were outscored 11-1 in those games. If the Bolts want to be considered contenders and not pretenders, they have to show they can play with a true contender in Boston.
2) March 22nd @ PITTSBURGH
This is perhaps the most talented team in the NHL. The Penguins lead the Eastern Conference with 83 points, and have one of the most potent attacks in the league led by Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Chris Kunitz. Like Boston, Tampa Bay has yet to beat Pittsburgh this season. Ben Bishop will need to bring his A-game for this game, as it will be the Lightning’s biggest road test.
3) April 1st VS MONTREAL
This game kicks off the Lightning’s final homestand of the season. The Canadiens are filling up the Lightning’s rear-view, trailing by just 1 point in the standings. All 3 contests between these two teams have gone to overtime, 2 going to shootouts. This game could present the biggest momentum swing of the year as the postseason nears.