Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn (17) congratulates goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) after the team's shootout victory over the Dallas Stars in an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Lightning Struggle, Still Sit Atop the NHL

The Tampa Bay Lightning have gone 4-3 in their last seven games, but still, top the NHL at 20-6-2. The team took over the league number one spot last week. They start a two-game series against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.

Lightning Recent Struggles

In the Lightning’s last three losses, Curtis McElhinney has been the goalie. That’s not to say that he is the reason for the losses, though, as, on Monday’s loss to the Nashville Predators, the Lightning scored just one goal.

The offense has not been the downfall of the team recently as they have scored 3.43 goals on average in the last seven games. That is just under their season average of 3.61. The team has allowed 3.71 goals per game in the last seven games. That is 1.35 goals per game above their season average.

McElhinney has had a few good games this season allowing just one goal in each of his two wins. That being said, though, goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has not lost a game since 10 starts ago. Vasilevskiy is 3rd in the NHL for goals allowed per game at 1.9. McElhinney allows 3.19 which fails to crack the top 40.

Victor Hedman and Ondrej Palat’s success

Lightning wing Ondrej Palat has four goals and nine assists over the past 10 games. This brings his totals to 11 goals and 16 assists on the season and ties him with four other Lightning players at 27 points.

Defender Victor Hedman has recorded seven assists since the start of March. He had a stretch of five games in which he recorded an assist. This brings his point total to 22 on the season and 500 in his career.

https://twitter.com/TBLightning/status/1372020165374787585

Hedman is 5th for career points in Tampa Bay Lightning history, 4th in assists.

Upcoming games for the Lightning

The Lightning begin a two-game series against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday. The Blackhawks are 14-11-5 on the season. The Blackhawks have two players on the injured list: Dylan Strome and Zack Smith. The Lightning are missing Mitchel Stephens to a lower-body injury and Anders Nilsson who is yet to play a game for the Lightning this season.

About Jensen Young

Jensen Young is a journalism student at the University of Florida. He works as a sports writer for WRUF.com and is the voice of trendings on Wednesday mornings on the WRUF radio station.

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