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Winnipeg Jets at Tampa Bay Lightning preview and Game Day Thread

The Bolts look to tie the season series against the Jets.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

Winnipeg Jets at Tampa Bay Lightning : Game 75

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

Forwards

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

Defense

Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev -Zach Bogosian

Goaltenders

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

Winnipeg Jets Projected Lines

Forwards

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

Defense

Josh Morrissey - Dylan DeMelo

Nate Schmidt - Neal Pionk

Dylam Samberg - Brendon Dillon

Goaltenders

Connor Hellebuyck

Eric Comrie