At the Rink: Maple Leafs at Lightning

Wednesday, 01.27.2016 / 1:39 PM | Corey Long  - Correspondent

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to start another win streak before the All-Star break when they play the Toronto Maple Leafs at Amalie Arena on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, SN, SUN).

The Lightning (26-18-4) had their seven-game win streak ended in a 5-2 loss Saturday to the Florida Panthers. Tampa Bay currently is the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference with 56 points.

Lightning forward Ryan Callahan said he and his teammates need to come out with a strong effort against the Maple Leafs and not allow one loss to turn into a losing streak.

"We have to keep our focus and not look ahead to the break," Callahan said. "These are two important points and we desperately need. So concentrate on [Wednesday] and then we'll get a little break. This is an important divisional game. Sometimes after you have such a big win streak you can let it get away from you after you lose that first game. We put ourselves behind the eight ball quite a little bit early in the season and now we've gotten ourselves back in the hunt. But we need to continue to work. We haven't accomplished anything."

Toronto (17-21-9) is 2-6-2 in its past 10 games. The Maple Leafs gave up three goals in the second period Tuesday in a 5-1 loss to the Panthers.

Despite Toronto's recent struggles Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said he has a high amount of respect for Toronto's players and coach Mike Babcock.

The two coaches met in the Eastern Conference First Round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs when Babcock coached the Detroit Red Wings. The Lightning won the series in seven games.

"Just in my short time in the League, any time we play teams coached by Mike they work hard and they're tight checking and they, more often than not, play the game the right way," Cooper said. "That's why he's been as successful as he has. I watched the game [Tuesday] and I watched a Toronto team that probably deserved a better fate."

Babcock said he appreciates being respected but he's trying to build the Maple Leafs into a team that opponents are fearful of.

"I look forward to the day when the other team is scared of us," Babcock said. "It's great we can make it tight and compete real hard. But you would like the other team to be fearful of a bunch of your guys. That's what we growing into. It's going to take time."

Jonathan Bernier will make his 22nd start of the season in goal for Toronto. Andrei Vasilevskiy will make his 14th start of the season for Tampa Bay.

Here are the projected lineups:


Shawn Matthias - Tyler Bozak - PA Parenteau

Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov - Michael Grabner

Joffrey Lupul - Peter Holland - Nick Spaling

Daniel Winnik - Byron Froese - Brad Boyes

Matt Hunwick - Morgan Rielly

Jake Gardiner - Dion Phaneuf

Frank Corrado - Roman Polak

Jonathan Bernier

James Reimer

Injured: Michael Grabner (mouth), James van Riemsdyk (foot), Stephane Robidas (lower body)

Scratched: Martin Marincin, Josh Leivo, Rich Clune


Ondrej Palat - Vladislav Namestnikov - Steven Stamkos

Alex Killorn - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov

J.T. Brown - Valtteri Filppula - Ryan Callahan

Cedric Paquette - Brian Boyle - Jonathan Marchessault

Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman

Jason Garrison - Braydon Coburn

Nikita Nesterov - Andrej Sustr

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Ben Bishop

Injured: Joel Vermin (hand)

Scratched: Matthew Carle, Erik Condra

Status report: Babcock said Corrado would be in the lineup Wednesday for Marincin. ... Grabner took a puck to the mouth Tuesday and is questionable. ... Spaling may not play back-to-back games after returning from his upper-body injury Tuesday. Babcock, however, wouldn't confirm any more lineup changes. ... Cooper said Vasilevskiy will play Wednesday since Bishop is going to play in the All-Star Game on Sunday and he doesn't want the backup to have two weeks without work. Vasilevskiy played in the third period Saturday against the Panthers.

Who's hot: Kadri scored his 10th goal of the season Tuesday. ... Hedman has five points in his past five games.

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