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Tampa Bay Lightning at Minnesota Wild Preview and Game Day Thread: Another afternoon game

The Lightning haven’t won in Minnesota in ten years

Minnesota Wild v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning at Minnesota Wild: GAME #20

Time: 2:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Xcel Energy Center

Broadcast/Streaming: ESPN+, BSSUN, BSN, BSWI

Opponent SBNation Site: Hockey Wilderness

One week ago the Tampa Bay Lightning barely survived the Minnesota Wild comeback in the third period of the game at Amalie Arena and earned two points after a successful shootout attempt by Steven Stamkos. Tonight the Bolts will try to achieve the same at the opponent’s rink, where the Wild are extremely strong this season.

The Lightning are approaching tonight’s contest with two consecutive wins, and without allowing any opponent goals since the last meeting with the Wild.

However staying this perfect at their own end will be very hard against Minnesota as they scored 25 goals over the last five games and seven against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night.

After being one of the most improved teams last season, the Wild continuing this trend this season. Despite losing some of their experienced players like Ryan Suter and Zach Parise last offseason, the team managed to stay amongst the best teams in the Central Division and currently leads it after the first 20 games. Their highest paid player this season, Kirill Kaprizov, is very hot right now after scoring 11 points in the last five game, including four points against Winnipeg on Friday.

At their home rink at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the Wild are one of the best teams in the league. They’ve lost so far just two games at home, scoring 4.63 goals per games — the second best rate in the league. Also historically the Lightning aren’t very successful against Minnesota on the road — in 14 games in Saint Paul the Lightning won just twice with the last victory dated back to 2011. However this season the Lightning are quite strong on the road, having the second best point percentage in those games in the league.

The Wild are still missing their captain Jared Spurgeon, who is week-to-week with a lower-body injury. According to the Wild head coach Dean Evason, Mats Zuccarello is also questionable for the game. The Norwegian forward left the game early on Friday and wasn’t practicing yesterday, but other changes are not expected.

No information either on Erik Cernak’s condition. He was initially expected to be ready for the last game against the Seattle Kraken, but eventually was held out. As a precaution the Lightning recalled defenceman Sean Day from the Syracuse Crunch.

Tampa Bay Lightning Lines

Forwards

Alex Killorn — Anthony Cirelli — Mathieu Joseph

Ondrej Palat — Steven Stamkos — Alex Barre-Boulet

Patrick Maroon — Pierre-Edouard Bellemare — Corey Perry

Taylor Raddysh — Ross Colton — Boris Katchouk

Defense

Victor Hedman — Jan Rutta

Ryan McDonagh — Zach Bogosian

Mikhail Sergachev — Cal Foote

Goaltenders

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

Minnesota Wild Lines

Forwards

Kirill Kaprizov — Ryan Hartman — Mats Zuccarello

Jordan Greenway — Joel Eriksson Ek — Marcus Foligno

Rem Pitlick — Frederick Gaudreau — Kevin Fiala

Brandon Duhaime — Nico Sturm — Nick Bjugstad

Defense

Jonas Brodin — Matt Dumba

Ryan Goligoski — Jon Merrill

Jordie Benn — Dmitry Kulikov

Goaltenders

Cam Talbot

Kaapo Kahkonen