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HockeyLady

Lightning vs. Jets: Projected lines, injuries and storylines

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The second half of Tampa Bay's eight-game road trip begins with their annual Western Canada swing. First up is a meeting against the Jets at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg.

Both teams went into last weekend's All-Star break playing well. The Lightning are riding a three-game winning streak while the Jets have won three of their last four.

Lines from Thursday's game. Subject to change.

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Tuesday's Matchup
The Lightning and the Jets will conclude their two-game regular season series tonight in Winnipeg...Tampa Bay won 4-3 in overtime in the first meeting at AMALIE Arena on Dec. 9, Brayden Point netting the game-winner 36 seconds into the extra session...Winnipeg took just 20 shots in the loss, the fewest the Bolts have allowed in a game this season...The Lightning have won four of their last five overall against Winnipeg, three of those four wins coming in overtime or a shootout...The Bolts are 6-2-1 in their last nine games versus the Jets...Tampa Bay has won four in a row in Winnipeg, netting four goals in each victory and outscoring the Jets 16-8...The Lightning are 10-4-1 in their last 15 games in Winnipeg dating back to the 2009-10 season... Tyler Johnson has four assists in his last two games vs. WPG... Brayden Point has recorded a goal and an assist in each of two career games vs. WPG (2-2--4 total)... Jake Dotchin has tallied an assist in each of his two career games vs. WPG... Yanni Gourde, Matthew Peca and Mikhail Sergachev have each scored a goal in one career game vs. WPG... Nikita Kucherov has tallied 4-1--5 in his last four games vs. WPG... Steven Stamkos has tallied a point (1-2--3) in three-straight games vs. WPG (missed both games last season due to injury).

Tuesday's Storylines
The Lightning are playing their fifth game in a stretch of eight-straight games away from AMALIE Arena, the longest such stretch in the NHL this season...The Bolts are currently 3-1-0 on that eight-game away stretch...Tampa Bay enters the post-All-Star break portion of its schedule leading the NHL for wins (34), points (71), points percentage (.724), ROW (32), goals (173) and goal differential (+50)...The Lightning are off to their best start in franchise history with 71 points through 49 games, seven points better than the 64 points put up by the 2010-11 team (30-15-4) through 49 games...The Bolts lead the NHL for goals per game (3.53) and rank third for goals against per game (2.51) and are the only team in the top three in both categories...Tampa Bay was held without a power-play goal for the third-straight game Jan. 25 at PHI but improved to 11-3-2 this season when not registering a power-play goal...The Lightning have been shut out on the power play in eight of their last 11 (going 6-1-1 in those eight games).

Injuries
2017-18 Regular Season Man Games Lost: 67
Current injuries
Peter Budaj - Lower body (out indefinitely; injured Dec. 29) 12 Games
Victor Hedman - Lower body (out 3 to 6 weeks; injured Jan. 11) 5 Games
Ondrej Palat - Lower body (out 6 to 8 weeks; injured Jan. 20) 3 Games

Transactions
Jan. 29 - Recalled G Louis Domingue from AHL Syracuse
Jan. 27 - Re-assigned G Louis Domingue to AHL Syracuse
Jan. 21 - Recalled F Michael Bournival from AHL Syracuse
Jan. 21 - Recalled F Matthew Peca from AHL Syracuse

Andrei the Giant
Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 36 of the 37 shots he faced Jan. 25 at PHI for his 29th victory, the most wins for a Lightning goalie through the first 49 team games in franchise history (previous best: Ben Bishop, 24 in 2014-15)...Vasilevskiy paces the NHL for wins.

Vasilevskiy has given up just one goal over his last two starts and has four shutouts in his last 12 starts...Vasilevskiy leads the NHL for shutouts (7) and has tied the Tampa Bay franchise record for most shutouts in a season set previously by
Nikolai Khabibulin in 2001-02...Six of Vasilevskiy's seven shutouts have come on the road, a Tampa Bay franchise record for most road shutouts in a season...Since the 1989-90 season, Vasilevskiy is one of just seven NHL goaltenders to record six road shutouts in a season, joining Martin Brodeur (1997-98, 2003-04, 2006-07), Tom Barrasso (1997-98), Ed Belfour (2003-04), Marc-Andre Fleury (2014-15), Dominik Hasek (1997-98) and Nikolai Khabibulin (1996-97)...Vasilevskiy leads all NHL goalies with a minimum of 20 starts for save percentage (.931) and ranks second behind BOS's Tuukka Rask (2.16) for GAA (2.18).

In the Nik of time
Lightning right winger Nikita Kucherov tallied three assists Jan. 25 at PHI to match his career high for single game assists set four times previously (last: 2/21/17 vs. EDM) and his season high for single game points set four times previously (last: Nov. 16 vs. DAL)...Kucherov ended a season-long three-game point drought in Philly and continues to pace the NHL for scoring.

Kucherov has gone six games without a goal, matching a season long (also: Nov. 18-29), but ranks tied for second in the NHL for goals.

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Hutchinson to make his first start this season after an AHL All-Star performance this year for the Moose. 

 

One of two things will happen:

 

1. Hutchinson pitches a shutout against the leagues top offense.

 

2. Kucherov et al light the poor bastard up for 7+ goals, ruining his chances of a trade, possibly destroying an otherwise career year and its promise of a new one-way NHL contract. 

 

Hmmm

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