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Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets: Blake Coleman likely to play, McElhinney not

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Finally. The Lightning are back on the ice.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Five
TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 19: Brayden Point #21 of the Tampa Bay Lightning scores the game winning goal past Joonas Korpisalo #70 the Columbus Blue Jackets at 5:12 during the first overtime period to win Game Five in the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 19, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning @ Columbus Blue Jackets: GAME 3
Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus
Broadcast/Streaming: NBCSN
Opponent SBNation Site: Jackets Cannon

Preview:

The Bolts are getting set to play their first round rival Blue Jackets on NBCSN. This is the first of a two-game set in Columbus as the Lightning will play the Blue Jackets again on Saturday afternoon (a 2pm start that was initially a 7pm start).

The Blue Jackets are embroiled in a saga with their star center Pierre-Luc Dubois, who has made it publicly clear that he wants to be traded. This has obviously caused a rift that that has affected the team on the ice. There was a lot of line shuffling in the team’s last game against the Detroit Red Wings. Dubois wasn’t played much in the first period gradually saw his ice time increase as the team struggled to score and eventually lost to the Red Wings in overtime by a score of 3-2.

John Tortorella always makes a big stink to his players about “wanting to be here” so if Dubois has been saying he wants to be traded, I can’t imagine the relationship with him and the coach will not get worse. It might not be this game, but it definitely seems like the Blue Jackets are crumbling from within. The team is 1-2-1 after the first four games of the season so obviously things haven’t started well.

Blake Coleman was taken off the NHL’s COVID Protocol list on Wednesday as the Lightning arrived in Ohio to play the Blue Jackets. It’s unclear whether he travelled with the team, but considering the timing a day before a game, it’s a good chance he will play tonight on the third line with his regular mates Barclay Goodrow and Yanni Gourde.

Curtis McElhinney is still on the list, and from my understanding means he could not have travelled with the team. I could be wrong since the Lightning haven’t fully shared their plans (we’ll know at morning skate), but it’s likely Christopher Gibson will be on the bench.

Tampa Bay Lightning Lines

Forwards

Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Steven Stamkos
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Tyler Johnson
Blake Coleman - Yanni Gourde - Barclay Goodrow
Pat Maroon - Mitchell Stephens - Mathieu Joseph

Defensemen

Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Luke Schenn

Goalies

Andrei Vasilevskiy
Christopher Gibson

Columbus Blue Jackets Lines

These are the lines from the team’s last game

Forwards

Mikhail Grigorenko - Pierre-Luc Dubois - Emil Bemstrom
Boone Jenner - Max Domi - Cam Atkinson
Nick Foligno - Alexandre Texier - Oliver Bjorkstrand
Eric Robinson - Riley Nash - Liam Foudy

Defensemen

Jack Werenski - Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov - David Savard
Michael Del Zotto - Dean Kukan

Goalies

Elvis Merzlikins
Joonas Korpisalo