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Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals preview: Can the Bolts sweep the season series?

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Yanni Gourde and Ondrej Palat return to the lineup.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals: Game 78

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: NHLN, Fox Sports Sun

Opponent SBNation Site: Japers’ Rink

Preview

The Tampa Bay Lightning return to the ice after a four-day break. Their next opponent is the Washington Capitals and this will be the third meeting between the teams over the last two weeks. The Lightning have won both games so far, but neither was easy. Andrei Vasilevskiy needed to set a new team record for most saves in a single game to get a win in the last game.

The Caps secured a playoff spot after a win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday and are now sitting three points ahead of the New York Islanders in the Metropolitan division. They’ve posted a 6-3-1 record in the last 10 games. If things stays the same, they will remain at the top of the Metropolitan Division and will face the team from the first wild-cars spot, which is currently occupied by Canes.

T.J. Oshie missed the last game due to illness but returned to practice on Friday morning and will play against the Bolts tonight. Michal Kempny was injured in the first game between these two teams and has not returned. The Czech defenceman has been diagnosed with a lower body injury and is out indefinitely. According to some reports, he will miss the rest of the season, including the playoffs.

The Lightning’s blueline also isn’t complete. Anton Stralman participated in the last practice, but as Jon Cooper said, he probably won’t play tonight. However, he is expected to return on the road trip. Dan Girardi is still out indefinitely, but there’s hope that he’ll back in the playoffs.

Ondrej Palat also practiced yesterday and very likely is going to play against the Capitals. Yanni Gourde is also returning to the lineup after missing the last two games due to suspension.

This is the last game at Amalie Arena in the regular season. The rest of the regular season will be spent on the road. The Lightning still have a chance to reach the 130 points mark, they need to win at least four of the five remaining games.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forwards

Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - J.T. Miller

Tyler Johnson - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Mathieu Joseph

Adam Erne - Cedric Paquette - Yanni Gourde

Scratched: Danick Martel, Ryan Callahan

Defense

Victor Hedman - Mikhail Sergachev

Ryan McDonagh - Eric Cernak

Braydon Coburn - Jan Rutta

Injuries: Anton Stralman, Dan Girardi

Scratched: Cameron Gaunce

Goalies

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Louis Domingue

Washington Capitals

Forwards

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie

Carl Hagelin - Lars Eller - Brett Connolly

Andre Burakovsky - Chandler Stephenson - Travis Boyd

Defense

Christian Djoos - John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik - Nick Jensen

Injuried: Michal Kempny

Goalies

Braden Holtby

Pheonix Copley