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Tampa Bay Lightning at Arizona Coyotes Preview: Time to Strike

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Coming off of a resounding 2-0 win against the Vegas Golden Knights, the Arizona Coyotes (9-9-2) return to Mullett Arena for a five-game home stand as they face-off with the Tampa Bay Lightning (10-7-5) tonight at 7 p.m.

At T-Mobile Arena, aka “The Fortress,” Coyotes goaltender Connor Ingram stopped all-34 shots he faced to preserve the lead and defeat the reigning Stanley Cup Champions in Vegas.

That win by Arizona would snap a three-game losing streak and see them move up to fifth in the Central Division with 20 points.

However, the ‘Yotes and the Nashville Predators have been going back and forth in the standings and the Coyotes sit sixth at this point.

As for Tampa, they are visiting the valley to finish off a back-to-back after suffering a 4-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche last night.

Previously to that, the Lightning were able to demolish the Carolina Hurricanes 8-2 on Nov. 24.

Throughout the past 10 years, Tampa Bay have been one of the most dominant teams in the league.

“The Bolts” have won two Stanley Cups and been to the finals four times in that span.

With this all being said, will the momentum of Arizona’s win against Vegas continue as another NHL powerhouse travels to the desert?

Here is all you need to know before puck-drop with the Coyotes and the Lightning.

Significance of Game

Despite splitting the net 50/50 with fellow Arizona goaltender Karel Vejmelka to begin the season, Ingram will start his second game in-a-row for the first time in 2023-24.

Last year, Ingram arguably had the best game of his NHL career which happened to be against Tampa.

On Feb. 15, Ingram saved all 47 shots he faced to shutdown the Lightning 1-0 in a shootout at Mullet Arena.

What made that victory even more significant is that Ingram was a 2016 third-round NHL Draft pick by Tampa, but never played a game for them.

Speaking of a goaltender who gets to play his former team, Lightning’s Jonas Johansson will be defend the crease tonight against the Coyotes, according to Lightning beat writer Chris Krenn.

Oct 4, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Arizona Coyotes goaltender Jonas Johansson (31) makes a save against the Vegas Golden Knights during a preseason game at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Back on Sept. 30, 2022, Johansson was claimed off waivers by Arizona from Colorado.

Unfortunately for him, Johansson would play one preseason game last season as a ‘Yote before being placed on injured reserve.

Then, the Coyotes decided to put him on waivers on Oct. 11, 2022 before the Avalanche reclaimed him once again.

Other Notes

‘Yotes left wing Clayton Keller continues to lead his team in points with 19 in 20 games (8 goals, 11 assists).

Furthermore, Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse has had a November to remember.

Just this month, Crouse has scored all 10 goals of his goals this season in 13 contests.

On the other hand, Tampa possess the top points leader in the entire league, winger Nikita Kucherov.

With 15 goals and 21 assists, Kucherov has been able to amass 36 points in 21 games.

Additionally, “Bolts” center Brayden Point has netted 11 goals and 18 assists to so far this campaign.

In 2022-23, Point potted a whopping 51 goals and assisted 44 times in only his second, full-82 game season of his career.

The Coyotes were 1-1 against the Lightning in two games prior to this campaign.

Before the 1-0 win in February, Arizona lost 5-3 to Tampa with Kucherov getting two assists last New Years Eve, Dec. 31. 2022.

Coyotes defensemen Travis Dermott (upper body), Matt Dumba (lower body), Vladislav Kolyachonok (lower body) and Juuso Välimäki (upper body) have been out with injuries.

But, there have been rumblings that Dumba and Dermott may return this week, but no confirmation on when they will with the Coyotes, at the time of reporting.

Once there are updates on these situations, Burn City Sports will keep you up-to-date.

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Alec Cipollini is a reporter of the Arizona Coyotes and Cardinals for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account @AlecCipollini

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