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Lightning vs. Rangers: Projected lines; injuries; storylines

The Bolts look to stay hot as they host the Rangers at AMALIE Arena

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Bolts are in search of their first win this season against the Rangers. Tampa Bay fell 2-1 in overtime to New York back in November. 

New York fell in their most recent outing 3-0 to Winnipeg on Tuesday after having won their previous three games. The Lightning come in riding a three-game winning streak and have earned points in eight straight. 

Lines from Wednesday's practice. Subject to change.

Forwards
Steven Stamkos - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov

Cory Conacher - Yanni Gourde - J.T. Miller

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Adam Erne

Chris Kunitz - Cedric Paquette - Ryan Callahan

Tweet from @BBurnsNHL: Indeed, it is a body maintenance day for Brayden Point. #Bolts

Defenseman
Victor Hedman - Dan Girardi

Mikhail Sergachev - Anton Stralman

Braydon Coburn - Andrej Sustr

Goaltenders
Andrei Vasilevskiy or Louis Domingue

Thursday's Matchup
The Lightning and the Rangers are playing their second of three regular season meetings and the second of two at AMALIE Arena...New York scored a 2-1 overtime win over Tampa Bay in the teams' first meeting this season on Nov. 2 at AMALIE Arena, Yanni Gourde netting the lone goal for the Bolts shorthanded and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopping 33-of-35 shots in the loss, which ended his nine-game win streak...The Lightning have lost three in a row at home to the Rangers (0-1-2) but have gotten a point out of the last two losses...Tampa Bay has scored one goal or less in three of its last four games vs. NYR and two goals or less in six of its last seven...J.T. Miller will be facing his former team for the first time...Brayden Point recorded his first career two-goal game vs. NYR on March 13, 2017 and is on a two-game point streak vs. NYR (2-1--3).

Thursday's Storylines
The Lightning have won three in a row and are on an eight-game point streak (7-0-1), needing a victory tonight to match a season high for consecutive games with a point (9) set from Oct. 9-26 (8-0-1)...Tampa Bay is tied with Florida and Los Angeles for least amount of home games played (31) in the NHL and owns the League's best home points percentage (.774)...The Bolts are playing the third game of a season-long eight-game home stand tonight...Tampa Bay remains in the top spot in the NHL standings and has only relinquished first place for six days since Nov. 28, never falling more than one point from the top spot...The Lightning pace the NHL for wins (46), points (96), ROW (41), goals (240), goals per game (3.58) and goal differential (+59) and remain in first place in the Atlantic Division by
six points over Boston (the Bruins have 3 games in hand) and 11 points over Toronto with one game in hand...The Bolts have led the Atlantic continuously since Oct. 19...With 96 points through 67 games, Tampa Bay is closing in on its most points gained in a season in franchise history, needing just 12 points over its last 15 games to match the team record 108 points put up by the 2014-15 team (50-24-8).

Injuries 
2017-18 Regular Season Man Games Lost: 112
Current injuries
Peter Budaj - Lower body (out indefinitely; injured Dec. 29) 30 games
Ryan McDonagh - Upper body (day-to-day; injured Feb. 7) 13 games
Ondrej Palat - Lower body (out 6 to 8 weeks; injured Jan. 20) 21 games

Transactions
March 6 - Assigned G Peter Budaj to AHL Syracuse for a conditioning assignment
March 1 - Recalled F Anthony Cirelli from AHL Syracuse
March 1 - Re-assigned F Michael Bournival to AHL Syracuse
March 1 - Signed free agent F Alex Barre-Boulet to a 3-year, NHL entry level contract

Time After Time
The Lightning went to overtime for the sixth-consecutive contest Tuesday to become one of five teams in NHL history to appear in sixstraight OT games and the first since Columbus played in six-straight OT games from Dec. 9-20, 2014 (5-0-1)...Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Tampa Bay can match the NHL record for most consecutive overtime games (7) set by Edmonton (Feb. 29-March 12, 2004) and Toronto (Feb. 19-March 3, 2009) with another overtime game tonight...The Bolts are 5-0-1 during their six-game overtime streak.

Squashing Rookie Records
Tampa Bay forward Yanni Gourde scored two goals and added an assist March 6 vs. FLA to match his career high for points in a game set twice previously this season (also: 1-2--3 Dec. 16 at COL and 2-1--3 Jan. 7 at DET)...Gourde ended a nine-game goal drought Tuesday and recorded his fourth multi-goal game of the season and fifth of his career...Gourde scored his 23rd and 24th goals of the season to move into a tie for the franchise record for most goals in a season by a rookie.

Since Jan. 22, Gourde has recorded 10-13--23 over his last 21 games and ranks tied for eighth in the NHL for scoring over that span...Gourde recorded his 51st, 52nd and 53rd points to move into third place for most points in a season by a Lightning rookie.

Gourde paces all NHL rookies for plus/minus (+29) and ranks tied for fourth overall in the League...Gourde owns the second-best shooting percentage in the NHL (20.9%), trailing only Vegas' William Karlsson (23.8%)...Gourde ranks second among NHL rookies for goals, trailing only VAN's Brock Boeser (29)...Gourde ranks third among NHL rookies for scoring.

Making a Point
Lightning second year pro Brayden Point supplied the overtime game-winning goal March 6 vs. FLA to net his 27th goal of the season...Point ranks tied for 20th in the NHL for goals...Point is tied for the NHL lead for OT goals (4) with BOS's Brad Marchand and has netted the second-most OT goals in a season in Lightning franchise history (most: Steven Stamkos, 5 in 2011-12)...Point ranks ied for second in the NHL for game-winning goals (10), one behind League leader CGY's Sean Monahan (11), and has put up the second-most game-winning goals in a season in Lightning franchise history (most: Steven Stamkos, 12 in 2011-12).

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