BLUE JACKETS (13-20-3) at LIGHTNING (17-15-3)
TV: SUN, FS-O
TAMPA -- Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo will get a second chance at the Tampa Bay Lightning when the two teams play at Amalie Arena on Saturday.
Korpisalo made his NHL debut against the Lightning on Dec. 14 and made 27 saves in a 2-1 loss.
Since then Korpisalo has started four of the past five games for the Blue Jackets going 1-3 including a 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday that coach John Tortorella said wasn't his fault.
"I think on the fourth goal he has to stop that puck, but he made some big saves for us," Tortorella said. "That's a team effort the way we lost that game. We wasted a 5-on-3 and we weren't the same team after that."
Tortorella hopes the four-day break will help the players erase memories of the first 36 games and become more consistent for the remainder of the season.
"We've had some real encouraging nights and then we end up with some disappointments," Tortorella said. We need to have more encouraging nights than disappointments to get back in this thing. I think it's important for the guys to let everything go. I think [we] can wipe it clean, especially after the way we played against Pittsburgh."
Blue Jackets forward Scott Hartnell said a strong effort against the Lightning would be the best sign of encouragement.
"We have to be hungry [Saturday]," Hartnell said. "Hit in the corners and win battles for the puck. Just be competitive.
Tampa Bay is looking to bounce back from a tough 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. The Lightning went 1-for-10 on the power play that game and split the first two games of their six-game homestand.
"There's been games where our penalty kill has lost games and some where the power play has lost it," forward Erik Condra said. "We can't have that happen. We can lose games because of our special teams."
Center Steven Stamkos said the break is over and the Lightning have to make a move during the remainder of the homestand.
"We need to be coming out quick [Saturday]," Stamkos said. "We as a group realize the importance of all these games. We have to take advantage of these home games and take advantage of the fact that they traveled this morning."
Lightning forward J.T. Brown participated in the morning skate and is expected to return to the lineup after missing the past two games.
Here are the projected lineups:
Boone Jenner – Ryan Johansen – Rene Bourque
Scott Hartnell – Alexander Wennberg – Brandon Saad
Matt Calvert – Brandon Dubinsky – Cam Atkinson
Gregory Campbell – William Karlsson – David Clarkson
Jack Johnson – Ryan Murray
Fedor Tyutin – Dalton Prout
Andrew Bodnarchuk – Justin Falk
Injured: Nick Foligno (undisclosed), Kevin Connauton (undisclosed), Cody Goloubef (broken jaw), Markus Hannikainen (shoulder), Sergei Bobrovsky (groin), David Savard (lower body)
Scratched: Jared Boll
Vladislav Namestnikov - Steven Stamkos - Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn - Valtteri Filppula - Jonathan Marchessault
J.T. Brown - Cedric Paquette - Ryan Callahan
Mike Angelidis - Erik Condra
Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman
Braydon Coburn - Andrej Sustr
Jason Garrison - Nikita Nesterov
Injured: Ondrej Palat (undisclosed), Tyler Johnson (undisclosed), Jonathan Drouin (lower body), Joel Vermin (hand surgery), Brian Boyle (upper body)
Scratched: Mike Blunden
Status report: Cooper said Drouin, Johnson and Boyle should all return by the end of the homestand. Palat's status for the next few games is still undetermined. ...Bobrovsky and Foligno are considered day-to-day. Foligno did not make the trip to Tampa while Bobrovsky participated in the morning skate. "He's working out with the team … whether he's close or not I don't know but he's all on the ice and that's good news," Tortorella said. ...The Lightning reassigned Tanner Richard to Syracuse of the American Hockey League to make room for Brown.
Who's hot: Kucherov has six points (one goal, five assists) in the past four games. ... Saad has five points (two goals, three assists) in the past three games.