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Hold down the fort; Tampa Bay Lightning versus Columbus Blue Jackets preview

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Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Where:  Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
When:  | Tickets: Check availability
Media: Sun Sports, Fox Sports Ohio (cable) | 970 AM WFLA (radio) | Twitter Live Stream
Opponent Coverage: The Cannon, The Dark Blue Jacket

For the third straight game, the Tampa Bay Lightning will be squaring off against one of the bottom dwellers of the NHL standings, this time it's the Columbus Blue Jackets. Things haven't exactly improved for Union Army HC since the Lightning last faced them a month ago in Columbus. Sergei Bobrosvsky is back in the lineup but the team still is sunken by way of injuries.

This is another contest that has "trap" written all over it; Tuesday's game in Buffalo was a great example of being a trap as the Bolts had spent themselves pushing around the New York Rangers the night before. They came to play at the Amalie on Thursday, though (and got into their pushing-around act on the scoreboard and in fisticuffs). The Bolts have a more formidable opponent upcoming in the Washington Capitals to focus on in the days ahead. This Columbus team was inundated with shots-against the other night in Sunrise and jumping to the conclusion that this game will be a cakewalk is the wrong mentality to take. The game at First Niagara Center on Tuesday should have taught us that.

This morning's skate for the Lightning was optional and the majority of the roster decided not to take the option. Both goalies were accompanied by only five skaters.  Resting up is fine and good, as tough games lie in the immediate future as well as later in the season...

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