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At the Rink: Capitals at Lightning

by Corey Long

TAMPA -- The best way for the Tampa Bay Lightning to get over their disappointing 3-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday is to get back on the ice.

And again Lightning coach Jon Cooper is asking his forwards to shoot more.

"Saturday was one of those games where we were going to have to get an ugly one in the net," Cooper said. "That wasn't going to happen without us shooting the puck."

The Lightning (18-7-3) will play the Washington Capitals (12-10-4) at Amalie Arena on Tuesday.

Washington is looking to go undefeated on a three-game road trip after a 2-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday and a 4-1 win against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.

"This is going to be a tough team but I think it's what we need right now," Lightning forward Tyler Johnson said. "We want to come out focused and ready to play."

The only change the Lightning have made for Tuesday is placing J.T. Brown in the lineup and sitting Jonathan Drouin. Brown has been a healthy scratch in four of the past five games.

He will be on a line with Brian Boyle and Brenden Morrow.

"He's energy, he's physical, he's in on the forecheck," Cooper said. "He's a pro, he does a lot of stuff for us ... blocking shots, penalty kill. It's good to have a group of forwards as deep as we have."

Cooper is also hoping the Lightning get back to what's made them successful this season: crashing the net and applying pressure.

"We didn't get to the net enough in the last game and we didn't do enough at the blue line," Cooper said. "We have to continue to do the little things and play down low to be rewarded."

Capitals goalie Braden Holtby will prove to be a tough test Tuesday. He has 62 saves on 64 shots in his past two games, and is 10-7-3 this season with a .916 save percentage.

Here are the projected lineups:


Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson

Marcus Johansson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Troy Brouwer

Brooks Laich - Eric Fehr - Joel Ward

Jason Chimera - Michael Latta - Jay Beagle

Brooks Orpik - John Carlson

Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen

Jack Hillen - Nate Schmidt

Braden Holtby

Justin Peters

Scratched: Liam O'Brien, Andre Burakovsky

Injured: Aaron Volpatti (upper body), Mike Green (upper body), Dmitry Orlov (wrist), John Erskine (neck surgery)


Alex Killorn - Steven Stamkos - Ryan Callahan

Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov

Brett Connolly - Valtteri Filppula - Cedric Paquette

J.T. Brown - Brian Boyle - Brenden Morrow

Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman

Andrej Sustr - Jason Garrison

Radko Gudas - Matthew Carle

Ben Bishop

Evgeni Nabokov

Scratched: Jonathan Drouin, Mark Barberio

Status report: Brown is likely to replace Drouin in the lineup tonight. ... Burakovsky will be scratched for the second consecutive game.

Who's hot: Holtby had 33 saves in a 4-1 win against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. ... Palat scored the Lightning's only goal in a 3-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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