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Lightning vs. Sabres: Projected lines; injuries

The Bolts finish the regular season against Buffalo on Sunday at AMALIE Arena

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Lightning return home to AMALIE Arena to conclude the regular season on Sunday afternoon against the Buffalo Sabres at 5.

PROJECTED LINES

Lines are from Friday's game against Montreal, and subject to change.

Forwards

Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Adam Erne -- Vladislav Namestnikov -- Jonathan Drouin

Alex Killorn -- Yanni Gourde -- Cory Conacher

Greg McKegg -- Gabriel Dumont -- Michael Bournival

Defensemen

Victor Hedman -- Jake Dotchin

Luke Witkowski -- Anton Stralman

Braydon Coburn -- Andrej Sustr

Goaltender

Andrei Vasilevskiy or Peter Budaj

SUNDAY'S MATCHUP

The Lightning and the Sabres are playing the final game of their four-game regular season series...The Bolts have won all three previous matchups this season and have a chance to sweep the regular season series against the Sabres for the first time in franchise history...Tampa Bay earned a 2-1 shootout win over Buffalo in the teams' last meeting (March 4), Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov converting in the shootout and Andrei Vasilevskiy making two shootout stops to pace the Bolts...The Lightning won 4-2 in their last matchup at AMALIE Arena against Buffalo (Jan. 12), Ondrej Palat netting a pair of goals to pace the Bolts...The Lightning were also 4- 1 winners at Buffalo (Nov. 17) behind power-play goals from Alex Killorn and Brayden Point...Tampa Bay has won 10 of its last 11 meetings with Buffalo and is 13-2-1 against the Sabres since the start of the 2013-14 season...The Lightning are 36-45-7 with five ties all-time overall against Buffalo...The Bolts are on a seven-game home point streak versus Buffalo (6-0-1) and are 19-21-3 with two ties all-time at home against the Sabres.

LIGHTNING-SABRES STORYLINES

Toronto's 5-3 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday secured the final wild card in the Eastern Conference for the Maple Leafs and eliminated the Lightning from playoff contention...The Bolts will miss the postseason for the first time since the 2012-13 season, ending a stretch of three-straight seasons making the playoffs...Since Feb. 4, the Lightning are 19-6-4 and are tied with Chicago for the second-best point percentage in the NHL (.724) behind only Washington (.733). 

INJURIES

2016-17 Regular Season Man Games Lost: 268

J.T. Brown - Lower-body injury (DAY-TO-DAY; INJURED APRIL 2) 2 Games

Ryan Callahan - Follow up surgical procedure on right hip (OUT INDEFINITELY; INJURED JAN. 7) 40 Games

Jason Garrison - Lower-body injury (DAY-TO-DAY; INJURED APRIL 2) 3 Games

Tyler Johnson - Lower-body injury (DAY-TO-DAY; INJURED APRIL 4) 2 Games

Cedric Paquette - Lower-body injury (DAY-TO-DAY; INJURED MARCH 9) 15 Games

Steven Stamkos - Lateral meniscus tear in right knee (OUT APPROXIMATELY 4 MONTHS; INJURED NOV. 15) 64 Games

TRANSACTIONS

April 5 - Recalled F Michael Bournival from AHL Syracuse

April 5 - Recalled F Cory Conacher from AHL Syracuse

April 3 - Recalled F Joel Vermin from AHL Syracuse

April 3 - Re-assigned F Joel Vermin to AHL Syracuse

IN THE NIK OF TIME

Tampa Bay forward Nikita Kucherov netted his 40th goal of the season April 7 at MTL and added an assist for his 23rd multi-point game of the season...Kucherov became just the sixth Russian player all-time in NHL history 23 years old or younger to reach the 40- goal milestone in a single season, joining Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Bure and Alexander Mogilny ...With his goal on Friday, Kucherov moved into second place in the NHL for goals. 

MILESTONES

  • Nikita Kucherov (31 career power-play goals) needs one power-play goal to tie Freddy Modin (32) for ninth place on the Bolts' alltime power-play goals list
  • Victor Hedman is one point away from reaching 300 career points in the NHL

POWER UP

The Lightning lead the NHL for power-play goals (62) and have tallied the eighth-most power-play goals in a single season in franchise history and the most since netting 69 in 2010-11. 

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