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Nuts & Bolts: Lightning go for a split in Columbus

Tampa Bay will try to bounce back on Thursday after falling 4-2 in the series opener

by Bryan Burns @BBurnsNHL /

The Lightning will try to bounce back from Tuesday's 4-2 defeat to the Blue Jackets when the two teams meet again at Nationwide Arena on Thursday night. 

When: Thursday, April 8 - 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Nationwide Arena - Columbus, OH
TV coverage: Bally Sports Sun (check local listings)
Radio coverage: 970 WFLA-AM, Lightning Power Play
Where to stream it: FOX Sports GONHL.TV

Lines from Tuesday's game (subject to change)
Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Tyler Johnson
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Steven Stamkos
Barclay Goodrow - Yanni Gourde - Blake Coleman
Pat Maroon - Ross Colton - Mathieu Joseph

Victor Hedman - Cal Foote
Ryan McDonagh - Luke Schenn
Ben Thomas - Mikhail Sergachev

Andrei Vasilevskiy
Curtis McElhinney

Thursday's Matchup
The Lightning and the Blue Jackets are playing their sixth of eight meetings this season and the final of four at Nationwide Arena...The Bolts close out a two-game set against the Blue Jackets tonight...Tampa Bay and Columbus will have played four times in a 10-day span following tonight's contest...The Lightning and Blue Jackets have split both of their previous two-game sets this season...The Bolts are 2-3-0 against Columbus, their .400 point percentage versus the Blue Jackets their lowest against any division opponent this season...The Blue Jackets are the only team the Lightning own a negative goal differential against this season (-5)...Tampa Bay is averaging 35.8 shots per game against Columbus, its highest versus any opponent this season...The Bolts own a 7.4 shot differential versus the Blue Jackets, their second largest among 2020-21 opponents (largest: 9.2 shot differential vs. DET)...Brayden Point (3-1--4 pts.) and Ondrej Palat (1-3--4 pts.) pace the Lightning for scoring this season versus Columbus; Point leads the Bolts for goals against Columbus.

Thursday's Storylines
The Lightning are playing the second game in a four-game road trip tonight...The Bolts are looking to end a season-long three-game road losing skid...The Lightning have dropped two straight overall and five of their last seven contests...Tampa Bay has scored only one power-play goal over the last seven contests (1-for-18 overall) but own the fourth-best power play in the NHL (25.4%) and the top road power play in the League (29.2%)...The Lightning are tied for the NHL lead for wins (26) along with CAR, TOR, FLA and COL...The Bolts lead the NHL for penalty minutes (375), minor penalties (138) and are tied for first for most major penalties at 15 along with OTT.

2020-21 Reg. Season Man Games Lost: 99 
Erik Cernak (Lower-body injury March 23; Day-to-day) 7 Games 
Nikita Kucherov (Hip surgery Dec. 29; Out) 39 Games 
Jan Rutta (Lower-body injury March 30; Week-to-week) 4 Games

The Road Ahead
Saturday, April 10 at Nashville Predators
Tuesday, April 13 at Nashville Predators
Thursday, April 15 vs. Florida Panthers

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