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Ducks at Lightning preview

Kucherov returns, Stamkos out for Tampa Bay; Lindholm back in lineup for Anaheim

by Corey Long / Independent Correspondent

DUCKS (10-10-3) at LIGHTNING (10-7-2)



The Game

Nikita Kucherov will return for the Tampa Bay Lightning, but captain Steven Stamkos will be out with a lower-body injury when they host the Anaheim Ducks at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

Kucherov will play after missing the Lightning's 4-2 win at the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday because of an upper-body injury. The forward, who won the Art Ross Trophy as NHL leading scorer last season, has 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in 18 games this season.

Stamkos, who leads Tampa Bay in scoring with 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 19 games, is out with a lower-body injury. There is no timetable for the center's return, Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. Stamkos has not missed a regular-season game since April 7, 2018. 

Tampa Bay is 4-2-0 in its past six games.

Hampus Lindholm will return for the Ducks after missing eight games with a lower-body injury. The defenseman, who has not played since Nov. 5, has nine assists in 15 games for Anaheim, winless in two straight (0-1-1) and 1-4-3 in its past eight games.


Players to watch

Ducks forward Rickard Rakell has five points (two goals, three assists) In a four-game point streak.

Lightning center Anthony Cirelli has scored a goal in each of his past three games.


They said it

"We've given up leads in the past and it didn't really feel the same way. We probably played our best game of the year up until the third period and even in the third period I thought we did some good things. … We felt like we controlled that game and they're a good hockey team so we are trying to build off of that." -- Ducks forward Troy Terry on trying to bounce back after a 5-4 overtime loss at the Florida Panthers on Thursday, in a game Anaheim led 4-0

"We're expecting a tough game. They play a physical game and they can play a skilled game as well. We're happy to be home, but we know we have some tough opponents coming in so this will be a good test." -- Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman  


Ducks projected lineup

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Troy Terry

Max Jones -- Adam Henrique -- Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie -- Sam Steel -- Ondrej Kase

Nicolas Deslauriers -- Derek Grant -- Carter Rowney

Brendan Guhle -- Cam Fowler

Hampus Lindholm -- Erik Gudbranson

Jacob Larsson -- Korbinian Holzer

Ryan Miller

John Gibson

Injured: Josh Manson (MCL sprain)

Scratched: Michael Del Zotto, Devin Shore, Josh Mahura


Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Carter Verhaeghe -- Tyler Johnson -- Cory Conacher

Alex Killorn -- Anthony Cirelli -- Mathieu Joseph

Pat Maroon -- Cedric Paquette -- Yanni Gourde

Victor Hedman -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Ryan McDonagh -- Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev -- Jan Rutta

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Injured: Steven Stamkos (lower body)

Scratched: Luke Schenn, Braydon Coburn


Status report

Anaheim held an optional morning skate Saturday. … Cooper did not say whether the Lightning would dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen; if so, Coburn likely would play instead of Verheaghe. 


Stat pack

Getzlaf has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 16 gmaes against Tampa Bay. … Vasilevskiy is one win from passing Ben Bishop (131) as the Lightning's all-time leader.

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