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Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets: Will the Bolts extend their winning streak?

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Pierre-Luc Dubois won’t play today

Tampa Bay Lightning v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets: GAME 4

Time: 2:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus

Broadcast/Streaming: NHL Network, SN, Fox SUN

Opponent SBNation Site: Jackets Cannon

Preview:

On Thursday the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets in overtime and became the first defending Stanley Cup Champion to start a season with 3-0-0 record since the Dallas Stars did it during the 1999-00 regular season. The Lightning also extended their winning streak against the Blue Jackets: the last time Columbus defeated Tampa in the regular season happened over the four years ago – on January 13, 2017.

It was already announced Pierre-Luc Dubois won’t help the Blue Jackets tonight. Since he asked to be traded at the start of the season, the relationship between Dubois and the Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella went very badly. In the first game against the Lightning on Thursday, the Blue Jackets forward stayed on the bench after the first period and played just 3:55 minutes overall. Reportedly Dubois is very close to be traded and it could happen even before the start of today’s game.

In Dubois absence, Max Domi will probably be moved to the first line, however when Dubois was benched during the Thursday’s game, Riley Nash replaced him on the first line. Mikko Koivu, who was on the NHL’s COVID-19 Protocol since the start of the season, attended yesterday’s optional practice and might be close to make his debut for the Blue Jackets. Koivu is a 37-year old forward who signed a one-year contract with the Blue Jackets last autumn after spending his entire NHL career with the Minnesota Wild.

The Lightning recalled Andreas Borgman from taxi squad, while Luke Schenn headed the other way. It’s still not clear if Swedish defenceman will make his debut for the Lightning this afternoon, however as Jon Cooper already mentioned, they definitely wanted to get Borgman in the lineup at some point of the season. Otherwise no big changes are not expected for the Lightning. Curtis McElhinney remains the only Lightning player on the NHL’s COVID-19 Protocol.

After tonight’s game, the Lightning are scheduled to play against the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh next week. However the Hurricanes haven’t played since last Monday due to several players being placed on the COVID protocols list and there’s still no information whether next week’s games will be postponed too. In case that the games will be postponed, the Lightning will have another one-week pause before the game against the Nashville Predators on January 30.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forwards

Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Steven Stamkos

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Tyler Johnson

Barclay Goodrow - Yanni Gourde - Blake Coleman

Pat Maroon - Mitchell Stephens - Mathieu Joseph

Defense Pairs

Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta

Mikhail Sergachev - Erik Cernak

Ryan McDonagh - Andreas Borgmann

Goalies

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Christopher Gibson

Columbus Blue Jackets

(according to the Columbus Blue Jackets official site)

Forwards

Liam Foudy - Max Domi - Oliver Bjorkstrand

Nick Foligno - Riley Nash - Cam Atkinson

Boone Jenner - Alexandre Texier - Eric Robinson

Eric Robinson - Kevin Stenlund - Nathan Gerbe

Defense Pairs

Vladislav Gavrikov - Seth Jones

Zach Werenski - David Savard

Michael Del Zotto - Dean Kukan

Goalies

Elvis Merzlikins

Joonas Korpisalo