The 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs begin with a matchup between last year's Eastern Conference champions and the holders of the longest active playoff streak in professional sports. The Red Wings and Lighting hit the ice for the first game of the first round at 7 p.m. EST at Amalie Arena.
Scouting the Red Wings
The Red Wings lost their last two games of the season, but still made it into the playoffs thanks to the ineptitude of the Bruins and some good luck along the way. With the recent news that this season will be Pavel Datsyuk's last in the NHL, Detroit will no doubt be playing with fire to extend their time with the Magic Man.
Jimmy Howard will start in net for Detroit, confirmed by the team, as head coach Jeff Blashill continues to ride the hot hand in net. No key players are out for the Red Wings with injuries but will scratch Teemu Pulkkinen, Tomas Jurco and Brendan Smith from the opening night lineup.
Scouting the Lightning
On the other side, the Lightning are nursing many a key injury to star players. Defenseman Victor Hedman will be back in the lineup for Game 1, but a few others remain game time decisions, including stand-out star of last year's playoffs Tyler Johnson (upper-body). With Tampa Bay missing Steven Stamkos (blood clots) and Anton Stralman (fractured fibula) due to longer injuries, the Lightning will have to fight through the pain to take the first game at home.
No surprises in net for Tampa Bay, as Ben Bishop will man the pipes for the Lighting.
Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning
7 p.m. | Game 1, Eastern Conference Round 1
Amalie Arena | Tampa Bay, Florida
Local: FS-F, FS-D | Nat'l: NBCSN, CBC, TVAS
Live stream at NBC Live Extra and Rogers GameCentre
More coverage: Red Wings blog | Lightning Blog