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Nuts & Bolts: Winning streak on the line Thursday in Chicago

The Bolts ride a five-game winning streak into Thursday's matchup against the Blackhawks at the United Center

by Bryan Burns @BBurnsNHL / TampaBayLightning.com

The Lightning face the Blackhawks in the first half of a back-to-back on Thursday night in Chicago.

When: Thursday, March 4 - 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: United Center - Chicago, IL
TV coverage: FOX Sports Sun (check local listings)
Radio coverage: 970 WFLA-AM, Lightning Power Play
Where to stream it: FOX Sports GO, NHL.TV

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

Defensemen
Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Cal Foote

Goaltenders
Andrei Vasilevskiy
Curtis McElhinney

Thursday's Matchup
The Lightning and the Blackhawks are playing their third of eight meetings this season and the first at the United Center...Tampa Bay swept a two-game set from Chicago to open the 2020-21 regular season, defeating the Blackhawks 5-1 on Opening Night Jan. 13 and following with a 5-2 win on Jan. 15... Steven Stamkos recorded multiple points in both contests and leads the Lightning for scoring versus Chicago (2-3--5 pts.) this season...Ondrej Palat scored a goal in each of the first two meetings versus Chicago...Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped a combined 57-of-60 shots to earn the win in both contests versus Chicago...Tampa Bay has won four in a row at the United Center, outscoring the Blackhawks a combined 17-7...The Lightning earned a 4-2 win their last trip to Chicago Nov. 21, 2019, Brayden Point netting the game-winner at 12:23 of the third period and Curtis McElhinney stopping 32-of-34 shots for his third win as a member of the Bolts...Tampa Bay has won 10 of its last 11 games against Chicago...The Lightning have earned points in 18 of the last 19 games against Chicago, going 16-1-2 versus the Blackhawks since the start of the 2010-11 season.

Thursday's Storylines
The Lightning are playing the second game on a season-long six-games-in-10-days road trip...Tampa Bay has won five-straight games coming into tonight's contest, the longest active win streak in the NHL and the Bolts' second longest of the season (longest: 6-straight wins Jan. 30-Feb. 9)...The Lightning have outscored their opponents 17-3 on their five-game win streak...The Bolts have connected on 5-of-17 power-play opportunities (29.4%) and are 18-of-19 on the penalty kill (94.7%) on their five-game run...Tampa Bay has killed 17-consecutive opponent power plays going back to Feb. 22 and hasn't allowed a power-play goal in four-straight games...The Lightning penalty kill now leads the NHL for penalty kill percentage at 88.6% (2nd: COL - 88.3%)...Tampa Bay owns the top goal differential (+32) in the NHL (2nd: TOR - +26)...The Lightning lead the Central Division on point percentage (.775) and are tied for first with Carolina on points (31)...The Bolts own the second-best point percentage in the NHL (1st: TOR - .783)...The Lightning lead the League for both goals scored per game at 3.55 (2nd: TOR - 3.52) and fewest goals allowed per game at 1.95 (2nd: VGK 2.17)...Tampa Bay begins its third of nine back-to-back sets this season...The Lightning are 2-0-0 in the first half of a back-to-back and have swept both of their previous back-to-backs this season.

Injuries
2020-21 Reg. Season Man Games Lost: 46 
Nikita Kucherov (Hip surgery Dec. 29; Out) 20 Games 
Mitchell Stephens (Lower-body injury; Out indefinitely) 16 Games

The Road Ahead
Friday, March 5 at Chicago Blackhawks
Sunday, March 7 at Chicago Blackhawks
Tuesday, March 9 at Detroit Red Wings

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