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Nuts & Bolts: Lightning begin the road trip on Thursday in Minnesota

The Bolts open a back-to-back set vs. the Wild

by Bryan Burns @BBurnsNHL / TampaBayLightning.com

The Lightning and Wild wrap up their regular season series on Thursday night in Minnesota. Tampa Bay fell to Minnesota 5-4 at Amalie Arena back at the beginning of December. 

Lines from Tuesday's game. Subject to change.

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

Defensemen
Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta
Mikhail Sergachev - Kevin Shattenkirk
Braydon Coburn - Erik Cernak

Goaltenders
Andrei Vasilevskiy
Curtis McElhinney

Thursday's Matchup
The Lightning and the Wild are playing their second of two matchups this season and the only meeting at Xcel Energy Center...Minnesota defeated Tampa Bay 5-4 in the first meeting Dec. 5 at AMALIE Arena, Mats Zuccarello scoring the game-winning goal eight seconds after Alex Killorn tied the game 4-4 four minutes into the third period...The Lightning have lost four in a row to the Wild...Minnesota was one of only three teams to sweep the regular season series from Tampa Bay in 2018-19 along with Nashville and St. Louis...The Bolts have lost seven straight in Minnesota, although they've gotten a point from two of their last three trips to Xcel Energy Center...Tampa Bay's last victory in Minnesota came in a 3-1 win April 2, 2011...The Lightning have just two wins all-time in Minnesota and are 2-9-2 in 13 games overall in Minnesota...The Bolts' .231 points percentage in Minnesota is their worst road points percentage against any NHL team...Kevin Shattenkirk has an assist in two-straight games vs. MIN (0-2--2)...Curtis McElhinney has won three-straight starts vs. MIN after beginning his career 0-1-1 against the Wild.

Thursday's Storylines
Tonight, the Lightning begin their ninth of 15 back-to-back sets this season...The Bolts are 4-3-1 in the first half of a back-to-back and have won three straight opening halves of a back-to-back...Tampa Bay went five-straight games and 20-consecutive times shorthanded without giving up a power-play goal until Los Angeles scored on its final power play Tuesday...The Lightning penalty kill ranks tied for fifth in the NHL at 83.1% and has been the League's best unit since Nov. 1 at 88.3%...The Bolts' penalty kill has surrendered just two power-play goals over the last 10 contests...The Lightning have given up just one power-play goal over their last eight road games...Tampa Bay owns the second-best goal differential (+33) in the NHL (1st: PIT +36)...The Lightning rank third in the NHL for regulation wins (23) behind BOS (24) and STL (24)...The Bolts are 5-1-0 in their last six road games and 8-2-1 in their last 11 road contests...The Lightning own the third-best road points percentage in the NHL (.636)...Tampa Bay owns a +14 first period goal differential in road games this season for the best road goal differential for any period in the NHL.
 

Injuries
2019-20 Man Games Lost: 53

Current injuries
Pat Maroon (Upper-Body Injury; Day-to-Day) 2 Games
Ryan McDonagh (Upper-Body Injury; Day-to-Day) 6 Games

Tampa Bay Sports Item of the Game
Plush Dragon
It's Appreciate A Dragon Day. Celebrate with this Plush Lightning Dragon! Available in store and online at TampaBaySports.com.

The Road Ahead
Friday, January 17 at Winnipeg Jets
Monday, January 27 at Dallas Stars
Wednesday, January 29 at Los Angeles Kings

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