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Nuts and Bolts: Going for another win over the Cats

Tampa Bay has won both meetings so far this season vs. the Panthers

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Coming off a 4-1-0 homestand, the Lightning are in Sunrise preparing for the start of a three-game road trip that begins on Saturday vs. the Panthers.

Tampa Bay is coming off a 5-4 over the Sabres on Thursday night. The Panthers will be playing the second half of a back-to-back after hosting Buffalo on Friday night.

Lines from Thursday's game. Subject to change. 

Forwards
Mathieu Joseph - Steven Stamkos - Yanni Gourde

Tyler Johnson - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - J.T. Miller

Ondrej Palat - Cedric Paquette - Ryan Callahan

Defensemen
Victor Hedman - Dan Girardi

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Braydon Coburn - Mikhail Sergachev

Goaltenders
Louis Domingue or Connor Ingram

Saturday's Matchup
The Lightning and the Panthers are playing their third of four meetings this season (also: Feb. 10 vs. FLA) and the first of two at BB&T Center ...Tampa Bay swept both games against Florida at AMALIE Arena this season, downing the Panthers 2-1 in a shootout on Opening Night (Oct. 6) and scoring a 7-3 victory over the Panthers 10 days ago (Nov. 21)...In the Opening Night win, Anthony Cirelli tallied the Bolts' lone goal shorthanded at 10:45 of the third period to tie the score 1-1 and J.T. Miller provided the game-deciding goal with his first round shootout conversion...Also from that win, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 42-of-43 saves and two more stops in the shootout, and Nikita Kucherov sealed the win with his third round shootout conversion...Seven different Bolts scored in Tampa Bay's 7-3 win over Florida while Steven Stamkos recorded a four-point night (goal, 3 assists) and J.T. Miller (3 assists), Ryan McDonagh (goal, 2 assists) and Nikita Kucherov (goal, 2 assists) each had three-point games...Tampa Bay has won four straight and six of its last seven contests over the Panthers...The Lightning, however, have lost five of their last six at Florida, going 1-4-1 since the start of the 2015-16 season...J.T. Miller has point in six of his last seven games vs. FLA (3-8--11)...Ondrej Palat has scored more regular season goals vs. FLA (7) than he has against any other NHL team...Yanni Gourde has more goals (5) and points (8) vs. FLA than he does against any other NHL team...Nikita Kucherov has recorded points in seven of the last eight games vs. FLA (6-5--11)...Steven Stamkos has tallied more goals (30) and points (30) vs. FLA than he has against any other NHL team.

Saturday's Storylines
The Lightning reclaimed first place in the NHL standings following their win Thursday, jumping ahead of Buffalo, idle Toronto and Nashville, which lost 3-0 to Arizona...Tampa Bay leads the NHL for goals (97) and ranks second for goals per game at 3.73 (1st: COL - 3.80)...The Lightning have scored more goals over the last two seasons than any other NHL team with 387 (2nd: TOR - 363)...The Bolts have eight players with five or more goals, tied with Ottawa and Toronto for most in the league...The Lightning have scored four or more goals 16 times this season...Tampa Bay went 10-5-0 in November, the 10 wins tied for second-most in the NHL for the month...The Bolts own the third-best goal differential in the league (+23) behind TOR (+26) and COL (+25).

Injuries
2018-19 Man Games Lost: 48
Current injuries
Ryan McDonagh (Upper Body; Day-to-Day)
Anton Stralman (Upper Body; Will be re-evaluated Dec. 5) 10 Games
Andrei Vasilevskiy (Left Foot Fracture; Out 4-6 Weeks) 8 Games

Tampa Bay Sports Item of the Game
Lightning Bolts Box
Looking for the perfect holiday gift for the Lightning fan on your list? Bolts Box features over $100 of Lightning gear for only $79.99 including shipping. Order yours today at TampaBaySports.com.

The Road Ahead
Monday, Dec. 3 at New Jersey Devils
Tuesday, Dec. 4 at Detroit Red Wings
Thursday, Dec. 6 vs. Boston Bruins

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