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Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Winnipeg Jets preview: Are the 2018-19 regular season Bolts back?

Steven Stamkos and Andrei Vasilevskiy on the edge of new records

Tampa Bay Lightning v Winnipeg Jets

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Winnipeg Jets Game 17

Time: 4:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: Fox Sports Sun

Opponent SBNation Site: Arctic Ice Hockey

Preview:

The Tampa Bay Lightning returned to Amalie Arena gracefully. The New York Rangers have been fully demolished, allowing nine goals during the night. With five of them coming from the power play, the Lightning PP unit has become the strongest in the league just like it was through the last regular season. Nikita Kucherov scored four points, reminding us of his last year’s version too. As Steven Stamkos said after the game, the Sweden trip has really helped the team to get back on track

Not a surprise that after such convincing victory, the coaching staff didn’t change the line combinations and they remained the same in yesterday’s practice.

The Winnipeg Jets are currently on third place in the Central Division. Given their defensive core situation, they should be happy about it. Before the start of the season, the right side of of their blue line changed drastically: Tyler Myers was traded to the Vancouver Canucks, Jacob Trouba signed with the New York Rangers and Dustin Byfuglien started to think about possible retirement. During the season, the team lost Josh Morrissey due to injury and Dmitri Kulikov became the most experienced defender on their roster. So you can imagine the extent of the problem. Despite this, the team is still in a playoff spot, and earned at least a point in six of their last seven games. The team is looking pretty good in 5v5 situations, but their special units ranked among the worst in the league.

Some Lightning players can reach impressive milestones today. Steven Stamkos is still waiting for his 400th career goal. He has currently 399 and was very close to scoring another goal during the game against the Rangers. Andrei Vasilevskiy tied Ben Bishop in most wins in franchise history, both have 131 wins now. So a win this afternoon would give him sole possession of the record.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Tyler Johnson - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - Carter Verhaeghe

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Mathieu Joseph

Patrick Maroon - Cedric Paquette - Yanni Gourde

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Kevin Shattenkirk

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Luke Schenn

Scratched: Jan Rutta, Braydon Coburn

Goaltenders

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Winnipeg Jets

Forward Lines

Kyle Connor - Mark Scheifele - Patrik Laine

Nikolaj Ehlers - Blake Wheeler - Jack Roslovic

Andrew Copp - Adam Lowry - Mathieu Perreault

Joona Luoto - David Gustafsson - Logan Shaw

Defense Pairings

Josh Morrissey - Tucker Poolman

Dmitry Kulikov - Neal Pionk

Nathan Beaulieu - Luca Sbisa

Goalies

Connor Hellebuyck

Laurent Brossoit