Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Amalie Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: SN1, CITY, SNW BSSUN
Opponent SB Nation Site: Arctic Ice Hockey
The Tampa Bay Lightning continue their five-game homestand with a game against the Winnipeg Jets tonight. The Bolts officially clinched their playoff berth after beating the Anaheim Ducks and extended their lead over the Boston Bruins to three points. If the regular season ended today, the Lightning would face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of postseason.
The last game was a return of “Tampa Bay Find-A-Ways” — this is how Steven Stamkos called the Lightning after several games where the Lightning managed to earn two points despite not quite impressing performance. On Thursday, the Bolts blew a two-goal lead over Anaheim, which even led to pulling Andrei Vasilevskiy from the net (something that hasn’t happened since 2018), but were still able to secure two points, thanks to stellar performance by Brian Elliott and Nikita Kucherov, who tied the game in the last minute of third period.
Meanwhile, the Winnipeg Jets haven’t been officially eliminated from the playoff contention yet, but with an eight-point gap between them and the second wild card team, currently the Dallas Stars, they’re certainly on the brink of it. The Jets had a pretty good run in March, which almost brought them back in the playoff race, but losing five out of seven latest games has dashed their hopes a bit. Tonight’s game will be also the second game in two days for the Jets: yesterday they were destroyed by the Florida Panthers 1-6. Mark Scheifele’s absence is not giving the team any optimism — the second most productive player on the Jets’ roster didn’t travel on their road trip due to an upper body injury.
The Lightning are closing out their season series against the Jets tonight. Currently the Jets are leading the series after defeating the Lightning 7-4 on March 8 in Winnipeg. The teams have split their season series in four previous seasons, excluding the 2020-21 season, when the Bolts and the Jets didn’t face each other.
Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lines
Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Brandon Hagel - Anthony Cirelli - Alex Killorn
Nick Paul - Steven Stamkos - Ross Colton
Pat Maroon - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Corey Perry
Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev -Zach Bogosian
Winnipeg Jets Projected Lines
Kyle Connor - Pierre-Luc Dubois - Blake Wheeler
Morgan Barron - Paul Stastny - Nikolaj Ehlers
Zach Sanford - Adam Lowry - Mason Appleton
Jansen Harkins - Dominic Toninato - Evgeny Svechnikov
Josh Morrissey - Dylan DeMelo
Nate Schmidt - Neal Pionk
Dylam Samberg - Brendon Dillon