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Nuts and Bolts: A playoff tune-up for the Lightning in Toronto

Both the Bolts and Leafs are locked into their playoff positioning heading into Thursday's meeting

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Lightning and Maple Leafs meet for the final time in the regular season on Thursday night with both teams secure in their playoff spots. 

Tampa Bay has already locked up the top spot in the Eastern Conference but are still waiting to find out their First Round opponent. After clinching their playoff spot on Monday, Toronto is guaranteed to face the Bruins in the First Round of the playoffs. 

Lines from Tuesday's game. Subject to change.

Forwards
Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - Mathieu Joseph
Yanni Gourde - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Tyler Johnson
Adam Erne - Cedric Paquette - J.T. Miller

Defensemen
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Anton Stralman
Braydon Coburn - Jan Rutta

Goaltenders
Andrei Vasilevskiy
Eddie Pasquale 

Thursday's Matchup
The Lightning and the Maple Leafs are playing the final game of their four-game regular season series and the second of two games at
Scotiabank Arena this season...Tampa Bay has won two of the previous three meetings...The Lightning were 6-2 winners in their last visit to Toronto March 11, Tyler Johnson and Cedric Paquette each scoring a pair of goals in the victory...Toronto picked up its lone win in the series Jan. 17 at AMALIE Arena, breaking a 2-2 tie by scoring the final two goals in a 4-2 game...The Lightning defeated the Leafs 4-1 at AMALIE Arena Dec. 13, Andrei Vasilevskiy making 48-of-49 saves, the 48 saves at the time tying a TBL franchise record for saves in a game (Vasilevskiy has since broken that record with 54 saves March 20 at WSH)...Tampa Bay has won four of its last five games and six of its last eight in Toronto...The Lightning are 11-4-1 overall versus the Leafs since the start of the 2015-16 season... Nikita Kucherov has put up points in four-consecutive games vs. TOR (2-3--5)...Brayden Point has recorded points in two-straight games vs. TOR (1-2-3)... Anthony Cirelli has tallied points in three of his four career games vs. TOR (2-2--4)...Andrei Vasilevskiy has won four of his last five starts vs. TOR and has notched two of his 18 career shutouts against the Leafs.

Thursday's Storylines
The Lightning are playing their next-to-last game of the regular season...Tampa Bay became just the third NHL team all-time to win 60 games following a 5-2 victory at Ottawa Monday, joining the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings (62 wins) and 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens (60
wins)... The Lightning can match the League record for victories in a season by winning their final two regular season games...Jon Cooper is just the second coach in NHL history to lead his team to 60 victories in a season, joining Scotty Bowman...Tampa Bay's 28 road wins are tied for the second-most road wins in the NHL all-time (League record: 31 road wins by 2005-06 Detroit)...The Lightning can finish with the second-most road wins all-time in a season in the NHL with one more road win...The Bolts' 124 points are tied for the fifth-most points in NHL history...The Lightning can finish with the fourth-most points all-time in a season in the NHL by collecting four of a possible four points to close the regular season.

Injuries
2018-19 Man Games Lost: 113
Current injuries
Louis Domingue (Lower Body; Day-to-Day) 2 Games
Dan Girardi (Lower Body; Out Indefinitely) 12 Games
Victor Hedman (Upper Body; Day-to-Day) 2 Games

Tampa Bay Sports Item of the Game
Lightning GO BOLTS 2019 Playoff Hat
Start gearing up for the 2019 Playoffs with this adjustable GO BOLTS 2019 Playoff Hat from New Era. Available now exclusively in stores and online at TampaBaySports.com.

The Road Ahead
Saturday, April 6 at Boston Bruins

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