The Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning take on the Nottingham Panthers at Planet Ice MK Arena tonight (Saturday 2nd March).
Since the Lightning last faced the Panthers, a 2-1 road loss exactly one month ago, tonight’s visitors have picked up just two wins in seven league games.
The Lightning themselves have sported the same record since the close road loss to the Panthers, with the latest coming in last night’s 5-2 road loss to the Fife Flyers.
Special teams could be a deciding factor in tonight’s game, with the Lightning’s ninth-ranked penalty kill coming up against the Panthers’ ninth-ranked power-play unit.
The visitors’ penalty kill is one of the best in the league, ranking fourth with an 82.5% success rate, while the Lightning’s power-play unit has been quite successful itself – ranking sixth in the league with 18.4%.
Robbie Baillargeon’s two goals against Fife last night has taken him up to 24 for the season, with the American centre being the team’s biggest threat in front of the net.
Player-coach Tim Wallace is still the team’s points leader with 46 (16 goals, 30 assists) and drives most of the team’s threatening offensive plays – supported by the likes of Andreas Valdix and Latvian speedster Georgs Golovkovs.
The Lightning (13-33-4) have just six home games remaining this season, with a further four road games still to play, and claiming as many points in front of their own fans as possible being the ultimate goal before the end of the regular season.
The Lightning and the Panthers get things underway at 7 pm tonight at Planet Ice MK Arena.