LIGHTNING (25-13-4) at JETS (13-26-5)
Tampa Bay 7-2-1; Winnipeg 4-6-0
Sun Sports; AM 970 WFLA
This is the second and final meeting between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Winnipeg Jets this season. In their first matchup at the Tampa Bay Times Forum at the beginning of December, Nate Thompson's second period tally knotted the game at one to force overtime, but the Bolts fell 2-1 after Mark Scheifele scored the game-winner in the extra frame.
Goaltender Anders Lindback gets a shot at redemption versus the Jets Tuesday after dropping the previous decision to Winnipeg. He also mans the crease for consecutive games for the first time this season after entering Sunday's game less than five minutes into the opening period.
LIGHTNING – Officially marking the halfway point of the season last week the Lightning had a lot to be happy about heading into Sunday's game against the Edmonton Oilers. Not only were their 54 points through 41 games a franchise-best, but they sat just four points behind the Boston Bruins for first place in the Atlantic Division.
Yet the Oilers speed quickly disrupted Tampa Bay's strategy, as they were left playing catch-up hockey after Edmonton took a 3-1 lead at the end of 20 minutes of play. Victor Hedman and Valtteri Filppula knotted goals in the middle frame, but the Oilers added two more to solidify a 5-3 win and snap the Bolts' five-game road winning streak.
While the Lightning took one step forward with defenseman Sami Salo returning to the lineup, they took two steps back with goalie Ben Bishop exiting the contest less than five minutes into its start. While the severity of his injury is not yet known, he is officially listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury. The Bolts have recalled goaltender Cedrick Desjardins on an emergency basis in Bishop's absence.
JETS – Winnipeg closed the 2013 calendar year by winning three straight, but opened up 2014 on the opposite side of things, with three consecutive losses away from MTS Centre to the Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins. Team defense and netminding has been an area of concern for the Jets. Al Montoya had temporarily seized the problems in goal winning the final trio of games to end December; however he has given up 10 goals in his past two starts on the road.
Palat's assist on Hedman's second period goal Sunday in Edmonton tied him with Jets' forward Mark Scheifele for the longest point streak in the league by a rookie (six games). Filppula has tallied 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in his past 10 games.
1/6 – Recalled G Cedrick Desjardins from the Syracuse Crunch (AHL)
Injury Report: Lightning – D Keith Aulie (upper body, out), G Ben Bishop (upper body, day-to-day), D Brian Lee (knee, out), F Steven Stamkos (broken right tibia, out); Jets – D Grant Clitsome (undisclosed, out), F Matt Halischuk (upper body, out), D Paul Postma (leg, out), Jim Slater (groin, out)
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