Time: 5:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Capital One Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: Fox Sports Sun
Opponent SBNation Site: Japers Rink
After hosting the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues, the Tampa Bay Lightning are heading to Washington to face the 2018 champion Washington Capitals. This is also going to be the first leg of back-to-back games on this Thanksgiving weekend.
The Bolts are hoping that Steven Stamkos will be ready to play tonight. The Lightning captain hasn’t played since Thursday of last week against the Blackhawks but has started practicing.
In his absence, the Lightning tried different combinations, swapping from playing with 12 forwards and six defenders to 11F/7D. After playing against the Buffalo Sabres, Carter Verhaeghe was scratched against the Blues and Jan Rutta returned to the lineup. Verhaeghe played just four times during November. Despite Verhaeghe posting good numbers (aside from scoring), the coaching staff still prefer Cory Conacher over him.
These were the lines in morning skate:
Lines from morning skate:— Caley Chelios (@CaleyChelios) November 29, 2019
*Conacher not on the ice
*D-pairings all rotated.
Based on this, it looks like Stamkos is likely to return tonight but the team will continue to use an 11/7 alignment with Verhaeghe scratched.
Erik Cernak will miss the tonight’s game due to his two game suspension, but will be able to play tomorrow against the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Washington Capitals are also dealing with some injury problems. Nicklas Backsrtom missed the last three games with an upper body injury and according to Samantha Pell of The Washington Post, won’t play tonight against the Lightning. His Swedish teammate Carl Hagelin had been placed on long term injury reserved and will also miss tonight’s game. Due to injuries, the Capitals have slowed down a little bit, losing two of the last three games. But it didn’t affect their place in the standing. After 26 games this season, the Caps are currently first in the Metropolitan division and among the best teams in the whole league.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Mathieu Joseph
Patrick Maroon - Cedric Paquette - Yanni Gourde
Carter Verhaeghe - Tyler Johnson - Cory Conacher
Injured: Steven Stamkos
Victor Hedman - Kevin Shattenkirk
Ryan McDonagh - Braydon Coburn
Mikhail Sergachev - Luke Schenn
Suspended: Erik Cernak
Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Lars Eller - T.J. Oshie
Richard Panik - Chandler Stephenson - Travis Boyd
Beck Malenstyn - Nic Dowd - Brendan Leipsic
Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Nick Jensen
Jonas Siegenthaler - Radko Gudas
Injuried: Nicklas Backstrom, Carl Hagelin