The Tampa Bay Lightning (37-29-9) have dominated the Detroit Red Wings this season. The Bolts defeated Detroit in each of their previous four matchups, and will attempt to complete the sweep this Thursday in Tampa (7:30 PM ET on FS-D). The Lightning are 7-3 over their last 10 games and sit one point behind the Boston Bruins for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Right winger Nikita Kucherov is enjoying the best offensive season of his career. He’s notched 38 goals and 40 assists through 67 games. Down the stretch, he’s managed to turn up that production even further, scoring 7 goals and 2 assists over his past four games. With scoring like that, Tampa seems poised to be in the post-season this spring.
The Detroit Red Wings (31-32-12), on the other hand, are preparing for a summer of rebuilding. For the first time in 25 years, the Wings will not punch a ticket to the playoffs. Sitting second last in the Eastern Conference with only one player having scored more than 20 goals this season, the Wings will look to next season to start anew.