Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Amalie Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: Fox SUN
Opponent SBNation Site: On the Forecheck
After two weeks of postponements and road games, the Tampa Bay Lightning are finally returning home to play against the Nashville Predators. In fact the Lightning will spent the whole next week in Tampa, playing twice against both of the Predators and the Detroit Red Wings. Tonight’s game is also the first meeting between the Bolts and the Preds, both teams will play each other four times in the next eleven days.
After starting the season with two wins over the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Predators have slowed down and lost three games in a row, including a demoralizing 0-7 loss against the Dallas Stars. In their recent games they managed to bounce back with two victories over the Chicago Blackhawks, however both wins were obtained in a very tight games, which had been decided by overtime or shootout. Currently the Predators are one point ahead of the Lightning, although they've played two games more than their opponent.
Luckily for the Predators none of their players is on the COVID Protocol list and they’re expected to run almost the same roster tonight as in their previous game against the Blackhawks. The only change could be Mathieu Olivier, who was re-assigned to the taxi squad
Meanwhile the Lightning have officially placed Mitchell Stephens on long-term injured reserve, which means that the player will miss at least the next ten games. Mathieu Joseph had an impressive game as the fourth-line centre in Stephens absence during the last game and will likely continue playing in this position in the next games. Erik Cernak is still considered as the day-to-day and potentially will miss tonight’s game too. As for positive news, Curtis McElhinney has been removed from the COVID Protocol list yesterday and expected to attend a morning skate today.
Curtis McElhinney has been cleared from the NHL COVID list today, had been on it since Jan. 16. Expectation is he will try to skate with the team for tomorrow's morning skate ahead of hosting Nashville for the first of a two-game set— Lightning Insider (@Erik_Erlendsson) January 29, 2021
The Lightning and the Predators will meet again on Monday’s night at Amalie Arena for the second leg of their two-game series
Tampa Bay Lightning Lines
Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Steven Stamkos
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Tyler Johnson
Blake Coleman - Yanni Gourde - Barclay Goodrow
Pat Maroon - Mathieu Joseph - Alex Volkov
Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh - Luke Schenn
Mikhail Sergachev - Cal Foote
Updated with confirmation that Erik Cernak is OUT of the line-up tonight.
Nashville Predators Lines
Filip Forsberg - Ryan Johansen - Viktor Arvidsson
Nick Cousins - Matt Duchene - Mikael Granlund
Colton Sissons - Erik Haula - Luke Kunin
Yakov Trenin - Brad Richardson - Mathieu Olivier
Roman Josi - Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm - Dante Fabbro
Mark Borowiecki - Matt Benning
Updated: 3:26 pm based on Twitter reports