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Capitals at Lightning preview: They have to win eventually, right?

Brett Connolly brings his new team to Tampa as the Lightning kick off a back-to-back weekend

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Capitals @ Tampa Bay Lightning: Game 26

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida

Broadcast/Streaming: FoxSun, Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic

Opponent SBNation Site: Japers’ Rink

Preview:

The Lightning are a tired team. They are a beat-up team. They have been on the road more than the Dave Matthews Band. All of the wear-and-tear is starting to show as they are in the midst of a four-game losing streak. Not only are they losing, but they are clearly being out-played in the losses.

So what’s their reward for persevering? A game at home against a team that has beat them more times than any other in their history.

Washington rolls into town Saturday night as the Lightning stumble home after their three-game road trip. Much like Tampa, the Capitals haven’t been overwhelming in their first 20 or so games this season. They currently sit fourth in the Metropolitan Division with a 13-7-2 record.

This is the 120th meeting between the two teams (only the Panthers have played more against the Bolts) and the Lightning sport an ugly 38-67-6-8 record against the Caps. The 67 regulations losses is the most against any franchise. Before Caps fans start gloating, the Lighting still lead in Stanley Cup banners, not that they’re going to point that out like other teams have.

The usual cast of characters find themselves leading the Capitals. Alex Ovechkin has 12 goals, Nicklas Backstrom has 20 points and Brian Holtby is stopping 92% of the pucks fired his way.

They are a riding a mini-losing streak of their own having dropped their last two games, including a 3-0 shutout at the hands of Jaroslav Halak. After starting off with 8 wins in their first 11 games, they’ve only won 5 of their last 11.

As for the Lightning, Thursday’s game against St. Louis saw Vlad Namestnikov and Slater Koekkoek as healthy scratches as it looks like Coach Jon Cooper is sending a message to his players that they are accountable. Cedric Paquette made the most of the opportunity as he scored twice in 17 minutes of ice time, which was the most he’s seen all year.

In the injury department, Anton Stralman returned to the line-up which is good news. Jason Garrison only played one shift in the third period after taking a shot off the outside of the knee at the end of the second. That would be bad news. For the second straight game Brian Boyle found himself taking shifts as a blue-liner.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Valtteri Filppula - Brayden Point

Jonathan Drouin - Cedric Paquette - Joel Vermin

J.T. Brown - Brian Boyle - Michael Bournival

Defence Pairings

Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman

Jason Garrison - Andrej Sustr

Nikita Nesterov - Braydon Coburn

Goaltenders

Ben Bishop

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Washington Capitals

Forward Lines

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Marcus Johansson

Andre Burakovsky - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Jakub Vrana

Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Justin Williams

Daniel Winnik - Jay Beagle- Tom Wilson

Defense

Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen

Dmitry Orlov - John Carlson

Brooks Orpik- Nate Schmidt

Goaltenders

Braden Holtby

Phillp Brubauer

Line information will be updated in the Game Day Thread.