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Jets at Lightning Preview and GDT: Looking to close out the homestand with a win

Mar 12, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Corelli (71) scores a goal against Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck (37) during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports

Game #20: Winnipeg Jets (10-5-2) at Tampa Bay Lightning (9-6-4)
Time: 7:00 PM EST
Location: Amalie Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, ESPN+,

Opponent’s Site: Arctic Ice Hockey


The Winnipeg Jets come into town to close out the Lightning’s three-game homestand and will be a tough test after the euphoric victory over the Boston Bruins on Monday night. For those who haven’t been paying attention, the Jets are exceeding a lot of expectations early in the season as they are currently sporting the fifth best record in the Western Conference. Not bad for a team that many thought were going to blow things up over the summer.

After a disappointing end to their season last year, and a slew of big names playing out the final year of their contracts, there was some talk that the Jets were going to blow things up and start trading players. That seemed to be their intention when they traded Piere-Luc Dubois and bought out Blake Wheeler prior to free agency starting.

They didn’t go crazy in free agency, adding just a few role players and re-signing old friend Vlad Namestnikov, but they also didn’t trade two of their biggest stars in goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and forward Mark Scheifele. In fact, they did the complete opposite and signed both to seven-year extensions.

After a bumpy 2-3 start, they’ve caught fire and have gone 8-2-2 over their last 12 games, all under interim head coach Scott Arneil, who is filling in for Rick Bowness as the head coach is on leave to be with his wife as she deals with some unexpected medical issues.

Scheifele rewarded their faith with 21 points in 17 games while Kyle Connor, perhaps one of the most underrated players in the league, leads the way in points (22) and goals (14). While the top line does drive their play, they have been succeeding with depth scoring. They currently have 8 players with more than 10 points on the season and six players that have 5 or more goals through 17 games.

Hellebuyck hasn’t been up to his usual high standards as he’s sporting a 2.91 GAA and .897 GAA, and a 1.84 GSAx. He’s been providing good enough netminding for a team that is currently putting up 3.07 goals per game at 5v5, which ranks them 5th in the league (the Lightning are 14th at 2.6 GF/G).

The Lightning are going to need to find the same energy they had against the Bruins in their 5-4 overtime victory their last time out as Winnipeg will roll three pretty solid lines out against them. All three of their projected lines are boasting positive numbers in goals for, expected goals for, and unblocked shots for. The Bolts will not be able to take a breath defensively all night long.

This could be one of those trap games that occasionally pop up on the schedule. Tampa Bay is coming off a big win against a divisional foe, facing a team they don’t see very often, and playing the day before a holiday and then heading out on a road trip. There have been some positives on this brief homestand, and it would be a shame if they let the chance to pick up all six points slip away.

Offensively, the Lightning have been humming at home, totaling 11 goals, with 6 of them at even strength over the last two games. As usual the familiar names have led the way as Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov have 4 points during that stretch, but they’ve also seen goals from unlikely scorers such as Luke Glendening and Austin Watson. Tanner Jeannot has also scored twice.

Coach Cooper seems to have found a high-energy line with Jeannot, Tyler Motte, and Mikey Eyssimont. They’ve been linked up over the last two games and produced 69.23% of the scoring chances while on the ice and outscored their opponents 2-0. They bring speed and physicality to the bottom-six and are just plain hard to play against.

We’ll see if Jonas Johansson gets the nod for the third game in a row or if Coach Cooper starts Matt Tomkins in one more home game before the impending return of Andrei Vasilevskiy. Johansson hasn’t put up Vezina-level numbers in his last two outings, but he’s been solid and kept the Lightning in the game even when the defense in front of him is sputtering a bit.

It should be a fun night in Amalie as the Lightning finish the homestand before heading on the road for their next three. Hopefully the players are focused and not looking ahead to a big turkey dinner on Thursday.

Stats Match-up

Game #20Tampa Bay LightningWinnipeg Jets
Overall Record9-6-410-5-2
Home Record6-2-26-3-1
Road Record3-4-24-2-1
Goals For6863
Goals Against6954
Power Play30.3%18.0%
Penalty Kill85.7%74.1%


Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lines

Brandon Hagel – Brayden Point – Nikita Kucherov
Nick Paul – Anthony Cirelli – Steven Stamkos
Tanner Jeannot – Tyler Motte – Michael Eyssimont
Cole Koepke – Luke Glendening – Austin Watson

Victor Hedman – Nick Perbix
Mikhail Sergachev – Erik Cernak
Calvin de Haan – Darren Raddysh

Jonas Johansson
Matt Tomkins

Winnipeg Jets Projected Lines

Kyle Conner – Mark Scheifele – Alex Iafallo

Cole Perfetti – Vlad Namestnikov – Nikolaj Ehlers

Nino Niederreiter – Adam Lowry – Mason Appleton

Morgan Barron – David Gustafsson – Axel Jonsson-Fjallby


Josh Morrissey – Dylan Demelo

Brenden Dillon – Neal Pionk

Dylan Samberg – Nate Schmidt


Connor Hellebuyck

Laurent Brossoit

Question of the Night

Four of the Lightning’s regular defensemen (Darren Raddysh, Erik Cernak, Nick Perbix, and Calvin de Haan) have yet to score a goal. Will one of them break the seal tonight?

Today’s Shameless Holiday Shopping Product Plug

As you may know, we’re always looking for ways to make a couple of bucks to keep the lights on around here. So, from now until Christmas each preview will highlight one item that might make a nice gift for you or the Lightning fan in your life. Clicking on the link and purchasing an item may lead to a small commission for us, so please click away!

Today we’re going with a Brayden Point Phenom Gallery 2020 Stanley Cup Champions Artwork Poster.

That would look great in a fan cave!

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