Tampa Bay 4-5-1; Winnipeg 4-4-2
Sun Sports; AM 970 WFLA
This is the first of two meetings between the Tampa Bay Lightning and former Southeast Division rival the Winnipeg Jets. With a 26-9-1-3 record against the Jets/Thrashers franchise at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the Bolts went 1-1-0 at home last season, outscoring Winnipeg 9-5.
With one of the best records on home ice, the Lightning have scored 53 goals at the Times Forum this season (second in the NHL), compared to the Jets 31 goals on the road (tied for 21st in the league). St. Louis is also riding a five-game point streak (one goal, four assists) against Winnipeg.
LIGHTNING – Captain Martin St. Louis led the Lightning out of their scoring slump Thursday night after the team went more than 120 minutes without a tally. Valtteri Filppula added the insurance goal in the third period, as Tampa Bay played their strongest period in the final frame against the Ottawa Senators. However, going with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, Tampa Bay lost two blueliners along the way.
It adds to their injury corps, which currently includes nine players (not counting Mattias Ohlund). Head coach Jon Cooper says he feels for those on the list, as some were playing their best career hockey when they succumbed to injury.
The Lightning have managed to come together as a team despite the injuries, and look to build off their most recent win. After Friday’s practice good news emerged that defensemen Radko Gudas and Eric Brewer are expected to return to the lineup Saturday night. At the game at the Times Forum’s conclusion, four of the Bolts next five contest come on the road.
JETS – Playing in one of their best hockey games of the year on Monday against the New York Rangers in a 5-2 win, the Jets hoped to build off that when they visited the Panthers in the Sunshine State Thursday. Yet, the game did not go exactly as plan, dropping a 5-2 decision at BB&T Arena.
Starting their six-game road trip 2-0 with wins against the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders, Winnipeg has gone 1-2 since. With a loaded Central Division the Jets have struggled to stay a float, but will come into Saturday’s game hungry for a win after the disappointing loss at Florida and as a way to collect “bonus points” in the Eastern Conference.
Combining for four points (two goals, two assists) last game, St. Louis and Palat found success after being positioned together on the top line and hope to continue that chemistry tonight.
Lightning – D Keith Aulie (upper body, out), D Eric Brewer (lower body, day-to-day), D Radko Gudas (upper body, day-to-day), D Victor Hedman (lower body, out), F Pierre-Cedric Labrie (upper body, day-to-day), D Brian Lee (knee, out), F Ryan Malone (lower body, out), F Tom Pyatt (broken collarbone, out), F Steven Stamkos (broken right tibia, out); Jets – Zach Bogosian (groin, out), F Michael Frolik (flu, day-to-day), Evander Kane (lower body, day-to-day), Paul Potsma (leg, out), Jim Slater (hernia, out)
11/27 Recalled Forward Dana Tyrell from the Syracuse Crunch (AHL)
12/4 Recalled Defenseman Matt Taromina from the Syracuse Crunch (AHL)
Twitter Stat Pack:
The #TBLightning’s Valtteri Filppula surpassed his goal count (nine) from last season after tallying his 10th marker of the year vs. Ottawa.
The #TBLightning ranks third in the NHL with a .929 winning percentage when they score the game’s opening goal.
Tying Jason Arnott for all-time #NHL points (938), Martin St. Louis now ranks 91st on that list.
Stopping 157 of his last 162 shots, the #Bolts @BenBishop30 has won eight of his last 13 starts.
“When somebody goes down it hurts, but it’s another chance for players to prove they should be playing in the NHL. In a weird way it’s really pulled our team together. As much as it’s stinging now, we’re probably going to be a better team down the road.” – head coach Jon Cooper on the way injuries are affecting the team
|Back to top ↑|