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TV/Radio: CW44; AM 970 WFLA
Last 10: Tampa Bay (4-4-2); Winnipeg (3-5-1)
Season Series: The Southeast Division rivals face off in the first of six meetings on the year. Tampa Bay completed a six-game series sweep over the Atlanta Thrashers last season, prior to the team’s relocation to Winnipeg, which was the Bolts’ first over the club in franchise history.
The Big Story: The Lightning have won 11 consecutive games over the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise, which is the NHL’s longest active win streak by one team over another. Coming off its first road win of the season in a wild 9-8 win at Philadelphia on Thursday, Winnipeg comes in to the St. Pete Times Forum for another tough contest away from home versus the Lightning, who have won three of the past four.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay returned home Friday from a two-game road trip after splitting a pair of games at Buffalo and Nashville. The Lightning will alternate each of their next six games, including the bout with the Jets, at home and on the road. Tampa Bay will not play consecutive games in either location until the third week of November when its faces off in a pair of matches at St. Louis and in Winnipeg, respectively. After starting off its most recent swing away from home with a 4-3 win at Buffalo, Tampa Bay had its season-long three-game win streak snapped following Thursday’s 5-3 loss in Nashville. For the second straight game, the Bolts fell behind 2-0 early on, but came back to tie on goals by Steven Stamkos and Teddy Purcell. Unlike two days prior, though, Mathieu Garon was chased from net after allowing three unanswered Predators goals in the second period which allowed Nashville to pull away and earn its first home win of the season.
JETS – Winnipeg makes its second stop on a season-long 14-day, seven-game road trip. The road, thus far, has not been kind to the Jets, as they enter the St. Pete Times Forum with just one win in five tries away from home. Winnipeg’s break finally came in the team’s most recent outing on Thursday night when it defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 9-8 at the Wells Fargo Center in a wild high-scoring affair. The Jets twice surrendered four-goal leads, but it didn’t matter much, as nine different players had goals for Winnipeg in the NHL’s highest-scoring game in 15 years. Much like the Lightning on Thursday night, Winnipeg was forced to use two goalies in the win over the Flyers. Ondrej Pavelec started the game but was relieved by Chris Mason after Philadelphia connected for their seventh goal of the contest. Mason yielded one additional tally but was forced to exit less than five minutes later when he suffered a lower-body injury. The goalies combined for 40 saves on 48 shots, while defenseman Mark Stuart had six of the team’s 19 blocked shots in the contest.
Who’s Hot: Lightning forward Steven Stamkos comes in riding a five-game point streak with as many goals over that span and defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron added two more assists in Thursday’s game at Nashville to give him at least a point in seven of his past eight games. Winnipeg’s Alex Burmistrov has a point in six straight games, producing three goals and nine points over that stretch. His longest scoring streak last year stopped at just two games.
Injury Report: LIGHTNING – Mattias Ohlund (knee, placed on Injured Reserve); JETS – Eric Fehr (shoulder), Ron Hainsey (upper body) and Ondrej Pavelec (groin).
Notable Quotable: “We had taken care of the defensive zone play and done really well lately, but it crept back. But that’s because it’s not a habit yet and it has to be a habit. So we’re going to work on that in practice and make it a habit.” – Lightning head coach Guy Boucher, on his team’s defensive errors that proved costly in Thursday’s 5-3 loss at Nashville
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