Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: KeyBank Center
Broadcast/Streaming: MSG-B, SUN
Opponent SBNation Site: Die By the Blade
The Tampa Bay Lightning are looking for their fourth win in a row, which would be their longest streak of this season. On the other side are the Buffalo Sabres who have lost their previous three games.
Yesterday, the Lightning reassigned Mathieu Joseph to the Syracuse Crunch. He played about 10 minutes in the games against the Red Wings and the Canadiens while Carter Verhaeghe was scratched. It’s still not clear if Verhaeghe was injured or he was just healthy scratched but he took line rushes with Yanni Gourde and Tyler Johnson during practice so he could be back in the lineup tonight.
Also during practice, Braydon Coburn skated as the seventh defender with Luke Schenn taking a spot alongside Victor Hedman. Jan Rutta was not on the ice but as of now, it’s unclear why.
The Sabres continue to struggle. They’ve scored just three goals in their last three games and won just one game over their last seven games. It also doesn’t help them that several players are out with injuries. Defenceman Marco Scandella hasn’t played since December 23, but has started practicing with the team. Forwards Tage Thompson and Vladimir Sobotka have been on injuried reserve since November. After their last game against the Boston Bruins, the team announced that Jeff Skinner will also miss about 3-4 weeks with an upper-body injury.
After posting an impressive 18-game point streak, Jack Eichel has been a little bit quieter recently, scoring just one assist in three games.
On the last day of 2019, the Tampa Bay Lightning start a one week road trip. After playing against the Sabres tonight, they are going to face their divisional opponents the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens and finish up the trip in Raleigh against the Carolina Hurricanes, one of their toughest opponents during this season. The Bolts need to earn as many points as possible during this trip to stay in the playoff race.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Steven Stamkos
Pat Maroon - Cedric Paquette - Mitchell Stephens
Yanni Gourde - Tyler Johnson - Carter Verhaeghe
Victor Hedman - Luke Schenn
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Kevin Shattenkirk
Scratched: Braydon Coburn, Jan Rutta
Victor Olofsson - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart
Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Kyle Okposo
Marcus Johansson - Rasmus Asplund - Conor Sheary
Dalton Smith - Curtis Lazar - Evan Rodrigues
Jake McCabe - Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus Dahlin - Brandon Mantour
Zach Bogosian - Henri Jokiharju
Injuried: Jeff Skinner, Tage Thompson, Vladimir Sobotka, Marco Scandella, Matt Hunwick