|3:00 PM PT4:00 PM MT5:00 PM CT6:00 PM ET22:00 GMT6:00 3:00 PM MST5:00 PM EST2:00 UAE (+1)18:00 ETNaN:� BRT, October 26, 2018
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada Attendance: 18,207
Lightning continue difficult stretch at Vegas
Tampa Bay Lightning at Vegas Golden Knights
- The Lightning's 6-1-1 (.813) record is their best through eight games since 2003-04 (.938), the year they won their only Stanley Cup. They also are 2-0-1 (.833) on the road, tied for their best road start in team history.
- Vegas lost in a shootout to Vancouver after winning three consecutive games. The Golden Knights have allowed only four goals in their last four games -- they allowed 19 in their first five.
- The Golden Knights took both games against Tampa Bay last season, scoring eight goals and holding the Lightning to four. Both teams did well on the power play: Vegas had four power play goals in seven opportunities and Tampa Bay had three in seven opportunities.
- Nikita Kucherov had the only goal for the Lightning in their 1-0 win against Colorado. He has had a point in six consecutive games -- only Carolina's Sebastian Aho (nine) has a longer active streak this season.
- The Golden Knights and Nate Schmidt agreed to a six-year, $35.7 million extension on Thursday. Schmidt had a career-high 31 assists last season, but has not played this season due to a suspension. The Knights' 143 assists from defensemen last season were the sixth most in the NHL.
- The Lightning are allowing 2.21 goals per game, third lowest in the NHL. Vegas' offense is averaging 2.11 goals, third lowest in the NHL.
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The Tampa Bay Lightning, unbeaten in their last six games, continue their five-game road trip with a difficult stretch of three games in four days, continuing with a matchup against the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday afternoon.
The Lightning (6-1-1, 13 points) defeated Colorado 1-0 on Wednesday and play at Arizona on Saturday night after the matinee matchup with the Golden Knights (4-4-1, 9 points). The game will be played during the day on Friday because of Nevada Day, a holiday celebrated Nevada's statehood anniversary.
Vegas had big news off the ice Friday by extending defenseman Nate Schmidt's contract to six years, worth $35.7 million. Schmidt is in Austria, where he is practicing with the Vienna Capitals while serving a 20-game suspension for violating the NHL's policy on performance enhancing drugs.
Tampa Bay is 2-0-1 on its road trip (five points in three games) that started with an overtime loss against Minnesota on Saturday followed by a win the next day against Chicago.
The Lightning lead the NHL for points-percentage (.813).
"That was a good one," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said following the defensive struggle against Colorado. "It was just fun to be a part of and have the seat I have to watch it."
Nikita Kucherov netted the game's only goal on a third period power play with less than 14 minutes remaining. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 23 shots to record his first shutout of the season.
The Lightning went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill against the Avalanche to improve to 32-of-33 this season. They remain in the lead in the NHL for penalty-kill percentage at 97. They rank tied for third in the NHL for least amount of goals allowed per game (2.25).
Tampa Bay is still in search of its first win over Vegas after getting swept in last season's two-game series by the expansion Golden Knights. In the one meeting played at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the Lightning and Knights appeared ready to go to overtime last December, but Shea Theodore scored to break the tie with three seconds remaining to help Vegas earn the win. The Golden Knights won the game 4-3.
"I think hands down scoring a game-winner with only a couple seconds left has to rank up there for me," Theodore told the Las Vegas Review-Journal Thursday after practice. "I remember there was a battle for the puck in the corner. I was just kind of waiting at the top of the circles on the other side.
"I took a quick glance at the clock. I knew it was winding down. The pass came across, and I knew I only had a couple of seconds left, so I just tried to get it off. The fact the puck popped out to me like it did was perfect."
The Knights are looking for consistency after having a three-game winning streak snapped in a home shootout loss to Vancouver on Wednesday. After the game, Vegas coach Gerard Gallant expressed disappointment at his team's effort in the first two periods.
He is concerned about going against Tampa Bay, which he calls a "favorite for the Stanley Cup again this year."
"They're a top team ... we're going to have to play a great game," Gallant added. "They've got a lot of offense, a lot of talent, great goaltending. They've got everything you need from a hockey club."
Updated October 25, 2018