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Nuts & Bolts: Closing out the regular season series vs. the Caps

Bolts make a quick trip to D.C. to face the Capitals on Saturday night

by Bryan Burns @BBurnsNHL / TampaBayLightning.com

The Lightning will look to avoid a regular season sweep by the Capitals on Saturday night in Washington D.C.

Tampa Bay has picked up only a point in the first two meetings between the clubs this season, falling 4-3 in OT back in November and dropping a 5-2 decision last Saturday night. 

Lines from Thursday's game. Subject to change.

Forwards
Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Steven Stamkos
Pat Maroon - Cedric Paquette - Yanni Gourde
Carter Verhaeghe - Tyler Johnson - Mitchell Stephens

Defensemen
Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Kevin Shattenkirk

Goaltenders
Andrei Vasilevskiy
Curtis McElhinney

Saturday's Matchup
The Lightning and the Capitals are playing their third of three meetings this season and the second of two at Capital One Arena... Tampa Bay has dropped both previous matchups with Washington this season and has lost three in a row to the Capitals dating back to last season...The Lightning fell 4-3 in overtime in their last visit to D.C. Nov. 29, the Caps rallying from a 3-1 deficit in the third period and completing the comeback on Dmitry Orlov's overtime marker...Washington defeated the Bolts 5-2 at AMALIE Arena in the teams' last meeting Dec. 14...The Lightning are on a three-game point streak against the Caps in D.C., going 2-0-1; prior to that, the Bolts had lost five in a row in the regular season in D.C....Nikita Kucherov has four assists in two games against the Caps this season and is on a 12-game point streak vs. WSH (9-9--18); Kucherov has seven career power-play goals vs. WSH, tied with DET for his most against any NHL team...Alex Killorn is on a two-game point streak vs. WSH (1-2--3) and has scored four goals over his last five meetings with the Caps... Brayden Point has scored a goal in two-straight games vs. WSH (2-1--3)...Ryan McDonagh has more regular season assists (19) and points (21) vs. WSH than he does against any other NHL team...Jan Rutta scored his only goal of the season and first goal as a member of the Lightning Dec. 14 vs. WSH.

Saturday's Storylines
The Lightning start a stretch of eight-straight games against Eastern Conference opponents tonight...Tampa Bay is looking to end a four-game losing skid against Metropolitan Division teams (0-3-1)...The Lightning have won two straight on the road and are on a fourgame road point streak (3-0-1)...The Bolts rank second in the NHL for goals per game (3.52) behind only Colorado (3.54)...The Lightning have trailed after the first period just five times this season for the fewest amount of games trailing after the first period in the NHL this season (2nd fewest: NJD - 9).

Injuries
2019-20 Man Games Lost: 37
Current injuries
Braydon Coburn (Lower-body injury; Out indefinitely) 10 Games

Tampa Bay Sports Item of the Game
Women's Double Strap Sandals
It's Day 10 of Tampa Bay Sports' 12 Days of Deals. Until 10 am tomorrow, or until supplies last, these women's Double Strap Sandals are only $9.99. Get them now in store or online at TampaBaySports.com.

The Road Ahead
Monday, December 23 vs. Florida Panthers
Saturday, December 28 vs. Montreal Canadiens
Sunday, December 29 vs. Detroit Red Wings

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