LIGHTNING (30-14-4) at HURRICANES (16-25-5)
Season series: The Tampa Bay Lightning are aiming to sweep three games from the Carolina Hurricanes after winning each of the first two games 2-1 at Amalie Arena in December. Goalie Evgeni Nabokov made 29 saves to earn the first win, and Ben Bishop made 25 in the second Tampa Bay victory. Nikita Kucherov scored three of the four Lightning goals.
Lightning team scope: Forward Tyler Johnson had to miss the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game because of a lower-body injury; he is a game-time decision for Tuesday, Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said, according to the Lightning website. Johnson skated fully in practice Monday and said the time off helped with the injury. He'll make a determination in the morning how he feels. Steven Stamkos, who scored twice and had an assist for Team Foligno, and Jonathan Drouin, one of six rookies who was in Columbus for the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition, didn't practice. Defenseman Luke Witkowski, who made his NHL debut Jan. 20 against the Vancouver Canucks, filled in as a forward on the fourth line with Cedric Paquette and J.T. Brown. Tampa Bay won three straight heading into the All-Star break and is first in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the New York Islanders.
Hurricanes team scope: Defenseman Justin Faulk, who had two assists for Team Toews, made it back from Columbus by the end of practice. Forward Andrej Nestrasil wore a defenseman's practice jersey and filled in for Faulk. Carolina exits the break last in the Metropolitan Division and six points ahead of the Buffalo Sabres for 30th in the overall standings, but defenseman Andrej Sekera told the Raleigh News and Observer on Monday that he hopes to stay put at the NHL Trade Deadline. Sekera's contract expires after this season. "Hopefully we'll get something done," he said. "I really like it here." The Hurricanes entered the break having won two straight and are 6-2-1 this month. Coach Bill Peters hopes the players are refreshed coming out of the break. "It's your last chance to recharge and get ready for the home stretch," he said via the Hurricanes' Twitter account.