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Lightning vs. Maple Leafs: Projected lines; injuries

Tampa Bay returns home seeking its fifth straight win against the Leafs at AMALIE Arena

by Bryan Burns /

The Lightning continue their playoff push on Thursday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs at AMALIE Arena.


Lines are from Thursday's morning skate, and subject to change.


Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Jonathan Drouin - Yanni Gourde

Adam Erne - Byron Froese - Luke Witkowski

Gabriel Dumont - Greg McKegg - J.T. Brown


Victor Hedman - Jake Dotchin

Jason Garrison - Anton Stralman

Braydon Coburn - Andrej Sustr


Andrei Vasilevskiy expected to start


The Lightning and the Maple Leafs are playing their third of four meetings this season and second of two at AMALIE Arena...Toronto was a 3-2 overtime winner in its last visit to AMALIE Arena (Dec. 29), Nazem Kadri netting the game-winner at 3:37 of overtime on a 4-on-3 power play...The Lightning had won five in a row at home over Toronto until that loss...Earlier this season, Tampa Bay scored a 7-3 victory over the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre (Oct. 25), the seven goals the most the Bolts have put up in a game this season...Steven Stamkos (2 goals, 2 assists) and Nikita Kucherov (goal, 3 assists) each had four-point nights in that victory...The Bolts have earned at least a point in their last six home games versus Toronto (5-0-1 over that stretch) and are 7-1-1 at home against the Leafs since the start of the 2012-13 season...Tampa Bay is 18-21-3 with one tie all-time at home versus Toronto...The Lightning are 5-1-1 in their last seven games overall versus Toronto and own a 34-44-7 record with two ties all-time overall against the Leafs.


The Lightning have picked up points in six-straight games (5-0-1), eight of their last nine games (7-1-1) and 15 of their last 17 games (12-2-3 over that stretch)...On Feb. 3, Tampa Bay was tied with Buffalo for last place in the Atlantic and tied for 15th in the Eastern Conference, but since, the Lightning own the best point percentage in the Eastern Conference (.794), third-best point percentage in the NHL behind Calgary (.844) and Chicago (.813) and have pulled into a tie with the Islanders for the final wild card in the East...Since Feb. 4, the Lightning own the league's best GAA (1.82)...The Bolts have scored more power-play goals (53) than any other team in the NHL and, with 13 games remaining in the regular season already have more power-play goals this season than any season since 2010-11 (69)...The Lightning own the NHL's fourth-best power play at 22.4%...The Bolts haven't yielded a power-play goal in five consecutive games (13-for-13 on the penalty kill), their longest stretch this season without allowing a power-play goal (previous high: 4 games from Oct. 15-22 and Feb. 11-21).


2016-17 Regular Season Man Games Lost: 210

Ryan Callahan - Follow up surgical procedure on right hip (OUT INDEFINITELY; INJURED JAN. 7) 28 Games

Tyler Johnson - Lower-body injury (DAY-TO-DAY; INJURED MARCH 9) 3 Games

Vladislav Namestnikov - Lower-body injury (DAY-TO-DAY; INJURED MARCH 13) 1 Game

Cedric Paquette - Lower-body injury (DAY-TO-DAY; INJURED MARCH 9) 3 Games

Steven Stamkos - Lateral meniscus tear in right knee (OUT APPROXIMATELY 4 MONTHS; INJURED NOV. 15) 52 Games


March 13 - Recalled F Byron Froese from AHL Syracuse

March 13 - Re-assigned F Matthew Peca to AHL Syracuse

March 11 - Recalled F Matthew Peca from AHL Syracuse


Tampa Bay forward Nikita Kucherov has recorded 10 goals and 10 assists over his last 11 games and has notched at least a point in nine of his last 11 games...Since Feb. 21, Kucherov paces the NHL for scoring. Kucherov has set career highs for goals (31), assists (38) and points (69) this season...Kucherov ranks tied for eighth in the NHL for
goals and scoring...Kucherov is just the fourth Lightning player to record back-to-back 30-goal seasons, joining Vincent Lecavalier (5-straight seasons from 2002-03 to 2007-08), Martin St. Louis (4-straight seasons from 2002-03 to 2006-07) and Steven Stamkos (3-straight seasons from 2009-10 to 2011-12 and 2-straight seasons from 2014-15 to 2015-16)...Kucherov is tied for second in the league for power-play goals. Kucherov is tied for fifth in the league for power-play points (14-12--26)...Kucherov leads the Bolts for plus-minus (+13), and since the start of the 2014-15 season, Kucherov is +60, ranking third in the NHL.


Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman scored his 14th goal of the season, netting the overtime game-winner March 14 at OTT...Hedman scored the third regular season overtime goal of his career to tie Dan Boyle for most by a defenseman in franchise history...Hedman established a new career high for goals in a season on Tuesday (earlier this season he set career highs for assists and points)...Hedman has recorded points in 11 of his last 14 games (7-10--17)...Hedman ranks tied for 22nd in the NHL for scoring and third among league defensemen. Hedman leads the Bolts and ranks fourth in the NHL (second among league defensemen behind OTT's Erik Karlsson - 49) for assists (45)...Hedman is tied with PHI's Claude Giroux and BUF's Rasmus Ristolainen for the NHL lead for power-play assists
(23)...Hedman ranks tied for third in the NHL for power-play points.


Bolts goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy won his third-straight start and improved to 6-0-1 over his last seven starts after making 31-of-32 stops March 14 at OTT...Vasilevskiy has recorded 30-plus saves in six of his last seven starts...Since taking over as the Bolts starter on Feb. 27, Vasilevskiy is tied with CGY's Brian Elliott for wins (6) and is tied for the second-best save % (.958) and owns the fourth-best GAA (1.38) among goalies with four or more starts...Vasilevskiy has allowed two or fewer goals in 10 of his last 14 starts, and, since Jan. 13, ranks second in the NHL for save % (.939) and GAA (1.92) among goalies with 10 or more starts.


Tampa Bay forward Ondrej Palat tallied an assist on the game-winning goal March 14 at OTT to extend his point streak to four games, tying a season long (also: Dec. 28-Jan. 3)...Palat has one goal and three assists over his last four games...Palat is +10 since Feb. 1 after going -5 over the first four months of the season...Palat is +9 versus the Atlantic Division (20 games) and -4 against the other three divisions combined (42 games).

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