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Panthers at Lightning preview

Florida eyes fourth straight win; Johnson will not play for Tampa Bay

by Corey Long / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

PANTHERS (18-12-5) at LIGHTNING (17-13-4)

7 p.m. ET; SUN, FS-F, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Florida Panthers will aim for a season-long four-game winning streak when they play the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Monday.

Florida has outscored its opponents 17-7 while winning the past three games. The Panthers finished a back to back with a 4-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.

Panthers forward Noel Acciari, who had eight points (seven goals, one assist) in three games, was named NHL First Star for the week ending Dec. 22. 

The Lightning are 1-2-1 in their past four games. They lost 3-1 to the Washington Capitals on Saturday. 

Forward Tyler Johnson will not play for the Lightning because of a lower-body injury.

 

Players to watch

Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) during a three-game multipoint streak.

Lighting forward Nikita Kucherov has six points (two goals, four assists) during a five-game point streak. He needs one point for 500 in the NHL.

 

They said it

"It really is [an important game]. Everybody is so close. Obviously, there is a lot of hockey left, but we know these are four-point games and this could be the difference between getting in [the Stanley Cup Playoffs], it could be the difference in getting a seed on home ice." -- Panthers coach Joel Quenneville

"Every game is important for us [for] where we are in the standings, especially against a team ahead of us. We had a good game, I thought, against [the Panthers] last time (a 2-1 win on Dec. 10). So, we'll look to have the same approach." -- Lightning captain Steven Stamkos

 

Panthers projected lineup

Frank Vatrano -- Aleksander Barkov -- Brett Connolly

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Vincent Trocheck -- Noel Acciari

Mike Hoffman -- Brian Boyle -- Evgenii Dadonov

Colton Sceviour -- Dominic Toninato -- Mark Pysyk

MacKenzie Weegar -- Aaron Ekblad

Mike Matheson -- Anton Stralman

Keith Yandle -- Josh Brown

Sergei Bobrovsky

Chris Driedger

Injured: none

Scratched: Jayce Hawryluk, Denis Malgin

 

Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn -- Anthony Cirelli -- Steven Stamkos

Pat Maroon -- Cedric Paquette -- Yanni Gourde

Carter Verhaeghe -- Mitchell Stephens -- Mathieu Joseph

Victor Hedman -- Jan Rutta

Ryan McDonagh -- Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Injured: Tyler Johnson (lower body), Braydon Coburn (lower body)

Scratched: Luke Schenn

 

Status report

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Johnson aggravated the injury that caused him to miss four games earlier this month. ... Joseph was recalled from Syracuse of the American Hockey League on Monday and will replace Johnson in the lineup. 

 

Stat Pack

Barkov has four points (goal, three assists) in a three-game point streak. ...Point has five points (three goals, two assists) in the past five games. ...Killorn has 11 points (five goals, six assists) in his past 10 games.

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