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Lightning vs. Panthers: Projected lines; injuries; storylines

Tampa Bay looks to tame the surging Panthers

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Lightning's eight-game homestand continues on Tuesday when the Panthers make their final visit of the regular season to Tampa.

Florida has been one of the League's hottest teams, coming in riding a six-game winning streak and just one point out of the last wild card in the Eastern Conference. The Bolts have won six of their last seven games.

Lines from Tuesday's morning skate. Subject to change.

Forwards
Alex Killorn - Steven Stamkos - Nikita Kucherov

Yanni Gourde - Brayden Point - J.T. Miller

Cory Conacher - Tyler Johnson - Ryan Callahan

Adam Erne - Anthony Cirelli - Chris Kunitz

Defensemen
Victor Hedman - Dan Girardi

Mikhail Sergachev - Anton Stralman

Braydon Coburn - Andrej Sustr

Goaltenders
Andrei Vasilevskiy expected to start

Tuesday's Matchup
The Lightning and the Panthers will complete their four-game regular season series tonight...Tampa Bay has won two out of three meetings this season versus Florida, including the teams' last meeting at AMALIE Arena in the season opener (Oct. 6) when Ondrej Palat netted a pair of goals and Brayden Point matched a career high for single-game scoring with three points (goal, 2 assists)...Tampa Bay was also an 8-5 winner at Florida October 31, the eight goals by the Lightning the most they've put up in a game this season and most since scoring eight in an 8-3 victory over Winnipeg Feb. 1, 2013... Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist in that win...Florida's lone victory this season over the Bolts came in a 5-4 home win October 7, the 48 shots on goal by the Panthers the most the Lightning have allowed this season...Tampa Bay has won three straight at home over Florida and is 8-1-1 in its last 10 home games vs. the Panthers... J.T. Miller is on a four-game scoring streak vs. FLA (2-4--6)... Brayden Point has registered multi-point games (3-4--7) in all three meetings this season vs. FLA... Nikita Kucherov is on a five-game point streak (5-2--7) vs. FLA... Steven Stamkos has recorded a point (2-5--7) in every game vs. FLA this season and has more regular season goals (29), assists (26) and points (55) vs. FLA for his career than he does against any other NHL team.

Tuesday's Storylines
The Lightning have gone to overtime five-consecutive games, a franchise record for most consecutive overtime games, and are 4-0-1 over that stretch...Tampa Bay is on a seven-game point streak, tied for its second-longest point streak of the season, and has gone 6-0-1 over its last seven...The Bolts have played the least amount of home games (30) in the NHL and lead the League for top home points percentage (.767)...The Lightning are playing the second game of an eight-game home stand, their longest home stand of the season...Tampa Bay remains in the top spot in the NHL standings and has only relinquished first place for six days since Nov. 28, never falling more than one point from the top spot...The Lightning pace the NHL for wins (45), points (94), ROW (40), goals (235), goals per game (3.56) and goal differential (+58) and remain in first place in the Atlantic Division by six points over Boston (the Bruins have 3 games in hand) and nine points over Toronto with a game in hand...The Bolts have led the Atlantic continuously since Oct. 19...Tampa Bay has its most points in franchise history through 66 games with 94 points, eight points better than the 86 points put up by the 2003-04 team (37-17-7-5) and the 2014-15 team (40-20-6) through 66 games.

Injuries
2017-18 Regular Season Man Games Lost: 109
Current injuries
Peter Budaj - Lower body (out indefinitely; injured Dec. 29) 29 games
Ryan McDonagh - Upper body (day-to-day; injured Feb. 7) 12 games
Ondrej Palat - Lower body (out 6 to 8 weeks; injured Jan. 20) 20 games

Transactions
March 1 - Recalled F Anthony Cirelli from AHL Syracuse
March 1 - Re-assigned F Michael Bournival to AHL Syracuse
March 1 - Signed free agent F Alex Barre-Boulet to a 3-year, NHL entry level contract
Feb. 27 - Recalled F Michael Bournival from AHL Syracuse
Feb. 26 - Acquired D Ryan McDonagh and F J.T. Miller from the New York Rangers in exchange for F Vladislav Namestnikov, F Brett Howden, D Libor Hajek, a 2018 first-round draft pick and a conditional 2019 second-round draft pick

Stammer Time
Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos established a new career high for single game scoring after tallying two goals and three assists March 3 vs. PHI...Stamkos recorded one of just 10 five-point games in Lightning history (last: Alex Killorn, 2-3--5 on Feb. 1, 2018 at CGY)...Stamkos also converted in the shootout Saturday and ranks tied for first in the NHL for shootout conversions (4) this season and tied for first for shootout shooting percentage (80%) among players with four or more conversions...Stamkos recorded his 48th, 49th and 50th assists of the season Saturday and reached the 50-assist mark for the first time in his career...Stamkos ranks sixth in the NHL for assists...Stamkos' 77 points are the most he's put up in a season since recording a career-high 97 points in 2011-12, and he ranks tied for fifth in the NHL for scoring...Stamkos scored his 15th power-play goal Saturday, tied for second-most PPGs in the NHL, and ranks tied for fourth in the League for power-play scoring (15-16--31).

Hed of the Class
Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman matched a career high for single game scoring (also: 1-3--4 Oct. 13, 2014 vs. MTL) after tallying two goals and two assists March 3 vs. PHI...Hedman's multi-goal game was his first of the season and fifth of his career (last: March 1, 2017 vs. CAR)...Hedman netted his 10th and 11th goals of the season Saturday and has now recorded 10 or more goals in five-straight seasons...With his four points Saturday, Hedman reached 350 points for his NHL career.

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