Lightning (17-22-3, 37 Points) at Jets (21-19-2, 44 Points)
TV/Radio: Fox Sports Florida; AM 970 WFLA
Season Series: It's the fourth and final meeting between the two clubs.The Jets have won each of the past two meetings, with the Lightning winning their lone game in the season series back on February 1 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum by an 8-3 margin. Each of Winnipeg's two victories this season against Tampa Bay has been one-goal wins.
The Big Story: One club continues to fight for its playoff life, while reality has seemingly set in for the other that its summer plans will not include the postseason. The former, Winnipeg, comes in riding a three-game win streak and remains just two points out of the eighth and final playoff. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, has dropped three straight and five of its past six, as the Lightning look to collect its first victory in this third contest on the team's four-game road trip.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay continues on its four-game road trip, with the final two matchups on the swing coming north of the border in Canada. Following Tuesday's game, the Bolts will face off against the Canadiens in Montreal on Thursday before returning home. The Lightning lost for the third straight time on Sunday, completing the second half of a back-to-back set against Buffalo. Unlike the previous night in Washington the night before, the Bolts were unable to come back from a multi-goal deficit, falling 3-1 after 60 minutes. Benoit Pouliot had the lone goal for Tampa Bay, which got 19 saves from Mathieu Garon after the netminder stopped an additional 15 shots in relief of Ben Bishop just the night before in the nation's capital. The tally was not enough, though, as Buffalo got out to a 3-0 lead just past the midway point of the second period and never looked back.
JETS – Winnipeg plays host to its Southeast Division rivals as it looks to stay perfect in the fourth game of a six-game homestand. The Jets are currently enjoying a late surge, having won three straight, and it seems to have come at the perfect time as the team continues to chase a playoff spot. The club's recent winning trend continued on Thursday, as it earned a 7-2 victory over the Panthers. Evander Kane scored twice, along with five other players adding a goal each, while Ondrej Pavelec added 25 saves. The win proved to be just be business as usual for the Jets, at least as of late, as the victory was the team's third consecutive game in which it scored four or more goals in each.
Who's Hot: Benoit Pouliot recorded his eighth goal of the season on Sunday in the team's most recent game and now has collected two goals and five points over his past five games. Teddy Purcell registered has also notched points in three of his past four games, while Martin St. Louis has recorded nine points over his past seven games and ranks tied for first in the NHL with 41 assists. Winnipeg's Andrew Ladd leads the way for the Jets with a pair of goals and six points over his past four games, while Bryan Little has a goal and six points over his past three. Evander Kane also has recorded three goals and five points in his past three contests.
Injury Report: LIGHTNING – Anders Lindback (Lower Body, Placed On Injured Reserve) and Pierre-Cedric Labrie (Upper Body) and Tom Pyatt (Upper Body). JETS – Zach Redmond (Thigh), Nik Antropov (Lower Body), Jim Slater (Hand) and Anthony Peluso (Hand).
Twitter Stat Pack: Seven of the past nine meetings between the Jets and Lightning have been decided by one goal dating back to last season. Steven Stamkos is currently on a six-game goal scoring streak against Winnipeg dating back to last season. Stamkos is also on a 12-game point streak against the Jets/Thrashers franchise, recording 11 goals and six assists during that stretch. Martin St. Louis has recorded an assist in each of his past four games against the Jets dating back to last season. St. Louis is averaging 1.24 points per game this season, becoming one of only three players in NHL history to match that mark at age 37 or older (Mario Lemieux - 2002-03 & Gordie Howe - 1968-69).
Notable Quotable: "So far it's been a tough stretch for the guys. They're an emotionally charged group and it's been taxing, especially with traveling. But we're in a situation where we can instill our philosophy here and see which guys can buy in, and we still got more in the tank." – Lightning head coach Jon Cooper, on the results of the road trip so far and the mindset of the team
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