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Tampa Bay Lightning at New Jersey Devils Preview and Game Day Thread

We interrupt this stretch of no hockey with....some hockey

2022 NHL All-Star Skills Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning at New Jersey Devils: GAME #49

Time: 9:30 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: ESPN+, BSSUN, MSG+

Opponent SBNation Site: All About the Jersey

The Lightning interrupt their Olympic break to take on the New Jersey Devils. In doing so they finish up their make-up games that had to be rescheduled due to COVID postponements (hopefully the last time we have to type that phrase). There is cause for concern that the Lightning might come out a little flat. This is their first game since last Friday and then they won’t play again until February 23rd when they take on the Edmonton Oilers.

We’ve seen in the past that long layoffs can adversely affect the Bolts, especially with their timing in the offensive zone. It may take them a period or so to find their rhythm. Luckily, they are taking on a Devils team that is 28th in goals allowed at 3.51 per game. Tampa Bay should have some leeway even if they start off slow.

Injuries have been the biggest culprit for the Devils as they are still without Dougie Hamilton on the blueline. Both of their main goaltenders, Johnathan Bernier and Mackenzie Blackwood are on IR while forwards Jesper Bratt and Andreas Johnsson are also banged up.

The Lightning know a thing or two about injuries and their is the possibility that they could have one of their big pieces back in Erik Cernak tonight. The intimidating blueliner has only appeared in 21 of the team’s 48 games so far this year due to various injuries sustained blocking shots. As Coach Cooper pointed out earlier this week, the Lightning haven’t had a ton of injuries, but the ones they have had have knocked players out for long stretches. He’s looking forward to fielding a full line-up (hopefully the Edmonton game).

While the Devils are just 2-8 in their last 10 games and have dropped to 7th in the Metropolitan Division, their two wins were big ones as they beat the St. Louis Blues 7-4 and the Montreal Canadiens 7-1 (leading to the dismissal of head coach Dominique Ducharme). Nico Hischier in particular has been on a heater as he has 5 goals in his last 5 games.

Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lines

Forwards

Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Steven Stamkos

Pat Maroon - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Corey Perry

Mathieu Joseph - Ross Colton - Taylor Raddysh

Defense

Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta

Ryan McDonagh - Mikhail Sergachev

Darren Raddysh - Cal Foote

Goaltenders

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

New Jersey Devils Projected Lines

Forwards

Yegor Sharangovich - Jack Hughes - Dawson Mercer

Pavel Zacha - Nico Hischier - Tomas Tatar

Marian Studenic - Jesper Boqvist - Jimmy Vesey

Mason Geersten - Michael McLeod - Nathan Bastian

Defense

Jonas Siegenthaler - Damon Severson

Ty Smith - P.K. Subban

Colton White - Ryan Graves

Goaltender

Jon Gillies

Nico Daws

Lines per their practice yesterday