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Lightning vs. Red Wings: Projected lines, injuries, storylines

by Elisabeth Dichiara / TampaBayLightning.com

The Lightning are back at home after dropping both games of their most recent road trip. The Lightning fell 4-3 in Toronto on Monday and dropped a 5-3 decision the following night in Buffalo. Detroit comes in with wins in two straight games. 

With a win, the Bolts would sweep the season series from the Red Wings for the second straight year. 

Lines from Thursday's morning skate. Subject to change.

Forwards
Vladislav Namestnikov - Steven Stamkos - Nikita Kucherov

Cory Conacher - Yanni Gourde - Tyler Johnson

Alex Killorn - Matthew Peca - Adam Erne

Chris Kunitz - Cedric Paquette - Ryan Callahan

Defensemen
Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman

Mikhail Sergachev - Dan Girardi

Braydon Coburn - Andrej Sustr

Slater Koekkoek - Jake Dotchin

Goaltenders
Andrei Vasilevskiy expected to start

Thursday's Matchup
The Lightning are playing their last of four meetings this season against Detroit. Tampa Bay earned a 5-2 win in its matchup earlier this season on Jan. 7, Louis Domingue made 34 saves in his debut for the Lightning...He had not played in the NHL since Oct. 28 for the Arizona Coyotes...Defenseman Dan Girardi had a goal and an assist, Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov scored, and Ondrej Palat and Vladislav Namestnikov each had two assists for Tampa Bay...Tyler Johnson has points in eight of his last nine regular season games vs. DET...The Lightning have won 10 in a row in the regular season overall against the Red Wings, their longest active win streak versus any team and fourth-longest win streak versus any opponent all-time...Andrei Vasilevskiy has never lost in his career vs. DET, going 5-0-0 with a 1.86 GAA and .940 save percentage...Cedric Paquette has more goals (4) and points (5) vs. DET than any other NHL team and recorded his only career hat trick Jan. 29, 2015 vs. DET...Nikita Kucherov has more regular season goals (11) against the Red Wings than any other NHL team and has recorded points (7-3--10) in five-straight games vs. DET.

Thursday's Storylines
The Lightning face the Red Wings for the last time in the regular season and have the opportunity to sweep the series...Despite the loss on Tuesday, the Lightning are off to their best start in franchise history with 79 points through 57 games, five points better than the 74 points put up by the 2010-11 team (34-17-6) and the 2014-15 team (34-17-6) through 57 games...The Bolts continue to lead the NHL for wins (38), points (79), ROW (36), points percentage (.693), goals (202) and goals per game (3.54)...The Lightning lead the NHL for road victories (19), road points (40) and road goals (110).

Injuries
2017-18 Regular Season Man Games Lost: 85
Current injuries
Peter Budaj - Lower body (out indefinitely, injured Dec. 29) 20 games
Ondrej Palat - Lower body (out 6 to 8 weeks; injured Jan. 20) 11 Games

Transactions
Feb. 8 - Recalled F Adam Erne from AHL Syracuse
Feb. 6 - Re-assigned F Michael Bournival to AHL Syracuse

In the Nik of Time
Tampa Bay right winger Nikita Kucherov recorded an assist Feb. 13 at BUF for his 42nd of the season...Kucherov has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past six games, leads the NHL for points (72) and ranks third in the NHL for goals (30)...This is the thirdstraight season he's scored 30 or more goals...Kucherov is one of five Lightning players all-time to record multiple 30-goal seasons.

Killing It
Lightning forward Alex Killorn has more points through six games in February (10 pts) than he did in all of November (5), December (6) or January (3)...Killorn ranks tied for third in the NHL for points since February 1.

Stammer Time
Bolts captain Steven Stamkos tallied his team-leading 44th assist of the season Feb. 12 at TOR, his third-straight game with a point (2-3--5) and fifth game in his last six with a point (3-4--7)...Stamkos' 44 assists are tied for the second most he's recorded in a season (46 in 2010-11 and 44 in 2009-10)...Stamkos ranks tied for fourth in the NHL for scoring and eigth for assists.

Squashing Rookie Records
Tampa Bay rookie Yanni Gourde netted his 22nd goal Feb. 13 at BUF, the fifth game in his last six he's scored a goal...Gourde's 22 goals are the fourth-most in Lightning history for a rookie.

Gourde has recorded points in a career high seven-straight games (5-5--10)...Gourde now ranks second on the Lightning for goals and has scored a goal in eight of his last 11 games (8 goals total)...Gourde's 43 points are the fouth most by a rookie in Lightning history, behind only Brad Richards (62 in 2000-01), Ondrej Palat (59 in 2013-14), Tyler Johnson (50 in 2013-14), Steven Stamkos (46 in 2008-09), Rob Zamuner (43 in 1992-93)...Since Jan. 22, Gourde ranks tied for fourth in the NHL for scoring (7-5--12)...Gourde is third in the NHL for rookie scoring behind NYI's Mathew Barzal (16-43--59) and VAN's Brock Boeser (26-22--48)...Gourde ranks second in the NHL for goals among rookies.

Andrei the Giant
Bolts goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 19-of-23 shots in a loss Feb. 12 at TOR but continues to pace the NHL for wins.

Vasilevskiy's 33 wins are the most through 56 team games in franchise history (second: Ben Bishop, 27 in 2014-15 and 2013-14)...Vasilevskiy leads the NHL for shutouts with seven and tied the Tampa Bay franchise record for shutouts in a season set previously by Nikolai Khabibulin in 2001-02...Six of Vasilevskiy's seven shutouts have come on the road, a Bolts franchise record for road shutouts in a season.

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