The Tampa Bay Lightning are surely thrilled to be home. After 11 games in 11 different cities, the Bolts can finally settle in for a four-game homestand.
In those 11 games, Tampa Bay went 5-6-0 and lost three straight games twice. They hadn't lost three straight all season prior to that stretch. The trip started on a high note with a 6-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, but then the Bolts struggled in Canada, losing to the Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers in consecutive games. They recovered with wins over the Vancouver Canucks and Seattle Kraken in the next two. Tampa Bay returned home for one game against the New York Rangers before hitting the road again to visit the Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins. The Bolts dropped all three of those games before continuing on to face the Detroit Red Wings and New York Islanders, both wins for the Bolts.
With the taxing road trip behind them, Tampa Bay returns to the friendly confines of AMALIE Arena for a four-game homestand beginning with the Hurricanes Tuesday night. It leads into an April that will see the Lightning at home quite a bit, with 11 of 16 games at home. The Bolts have been very good at home this season, boasting a record of 19-6-4 in home games.
Despite the recent tough stretch, Tampa Bay remains in second place in the Atlantic Division behind only the Florida Panthers and fifth in the Eastern Conference.
With just 17 games left to play in the regular season, Tampa Bay is in good shape. This team is obviously battle tested and doesn't need a #1 or #2 seed in order to be a serious threat to make another run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, although they are only 7 points out of first place in the conference and anything could still happen.
Puck drops on the Lightning vs. Hurricanes at 7 p.m. Tuesday.