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HockeyLady

Lightning vs. Wild: Projected lines, injuries and storylines

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The Lighning's road-heavy schedule continues, as they begin a stretch of eight games away from home. The trip begins Saturday against the Wild and then continues with a back-to-back in Chicago and Nashville early next week. Tampa Bay has struggled recently, scoring only twice in their last two games. 

Saturday's meeting closes out the regular season series between the Bolts and Wild. In the first game, played in Tampa last month, the Bolts scored three late goals to pull away and win 3-0. 

Lines from Thursday's game. Subject to change. 

Forwards 

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Saturday's Matchup
The Lightning and the Wild are completing their two-game regular season series tonight and playing their only meeting at Xcel Energy Center...Tampa Bay has just two wins all-time in Minnesota, the least amount of road wins for the Bolts against a single team, and hasn't won in Minnesota since a 3-1 victory April 2, 2011...The Lightning are 0-4-1 in their last five games at Minnesota and have scored one goal or less in four of those five meetings...The Bolts are 2-8-1 all-time in Minnesota...Tampa Bay blanked Minnesota 3-0 in the teams' previous meeting this season on Dec. 23 at AMALIE Arena behind goals from Dan Girardi (goal, assist), Tyler Johnson and an empty-netter from Nikita Kucherov...Andrei Vasilevskiy made all 22 saves to record his fourth shutout of the season in that win and has never lost in regulation to Minnesota, posting a career 3-0-1 record with a .968 save percentage and 0.97 GAA vs. MIN...The Lightning have split the season series each of the last four seasons vs. MIN...Jake Dotchin has recorded an assist in twostraight games vs. MIN...Nikita Kucherov has tallied 3-1--4 over his last two games vs. MIN and has scored five goals in eight career games against the Wild.

Saturday's Storylines
The Lightning begin a stretch of eight-straight games on the road, sandwiched around the All-Star break, tonight in Minnesota for the longest road trip in the NHL this season...Tampa Bay will go 21 days between home contests (Jan. 18 vs. VGK to Feb. 8 vs. VAN), tied with Vancouver (Jan. 2-23) for the most days between home games in the NHL this season...The Bolts have yet to lose more than twoconsecutive games this season...The Lightning continue to pace the NHL for wins (31), points (65), ROW (29), points percentage (.722), goals (160) and goal differential (+46)...The Bolts are off to their best start in franchise history with 65 points through 45 games, seven points better than the 58 points put up by the 2013-14 team (27-14-4) and 2014-15 team (27-14-4) through 45 games.

Injuries
2017-18 Regular Season Man Games Lost: 56
Current injuries

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- Lower body (out indefinitely; injured Dec. 29) 8 Games

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- Lower body (out 3 to 6 weeks; injured Jan. 11) 1 Game

Transactions
Jan. 16 - Recalled G Louis Domingue from AHL Syracuse
Jan. 14 - F

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claimed off waivers by Anaheim
Jan. 13 - Re-assigned G Louis Domingue to AHL Syracuse

Putting up Palat of points
Tampa Bay left winger Ondrej Palat netted a power-play goal Jan. 18 vs. VGK to end a career-long 21-game goalless drought...Palat extended his point streak to a season-long four games, recording 1-4--5 over that stretch...Palat has taken 20 shots so far in January after taking just 21 in all of December (13 games).

In the Nik of time
Lightning right winger Nikita Kucherov tallied a power-play assist Jan. 18 vs. Vegas to record his team-leading 61st point of the season...Kucherov (98 career power-play points) moved past Roman Hamrlik (97) and into sole possession of ninth place among the Bolts' all-time power-play scoring leaders with his power-play assist on Thursday...Kucherov ranks tied for sixth in the NHL for powerplay scoring (3-19--22) and tied for fourth for power-play assists...Kucherov has points in five of his last six games (2-3--5) and 15 of his last 17 games (8-13--21)...Kucherov continues to pace the NHL for scoring.

Kucherov leads the NHL with 24 even strength goals; he scored 23 even strength goals all of last season...Kucherov ranks second in the NHL for goals.

 
 
 
 

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