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Jets try to end skid against Lightning

by Corey Masisak

LIGHTNING (25-13-4) at JETS (19-21-5)


Last 10: Tampa Bay 7-2-1; Winnipeg 4-6-0

Season series: The Winnipeg Jets won the first meeting of the season in overtime, and Winnipeg has won the past four games against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Jets are 7-2-2 against the Lightning since moving to Winnipeg.

Big story: Tampa Bay could move within two points of the Boston Bruins for the top spot in Atlantic Division, while Winnipeg will try to snap a three-game losing streak.

Team Scope:

Lightning: Tampa Bay is now 13-8-4 since Steven Stamkos was lost to a broken leg. The offense has improved in the past three weeks, with 30 goals in the past 10 games. They are 7-2-1 in that span, which follows a 10-game stretch where the Lightning scored 19 goals and went 4-3-3 and were shut out four times.

The Lightning's American Hockey League affiliate won the Calder Cup in 2012, and that group has been a huge reason why the team is staying afloat without Stamkos. Alex Killorn, Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Richard Panik and Radko Gudas, all members of that 2012 title team, are five of the Lightning's top 10 scorers.

Jets: Winnipeg began 2014 with a three-game road trip and it didn't go well. The Jets had a chance to salvage the trip with a fast start against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but the defense and goaltending, two areas where consistently has long been a concern, unraveled in a 6-5 loss.

Al Montoya had temporarily stabilized the goaltending with three straight wins to end 2013, but he allowed 10 goals in his two starts on the road trip. The Jets are six points shy of a playoff spot in the Western Conference, but also have played more games than every other top 12 team except for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Who's hot: Center Valtteri Filppula has three goals and five points in the past four games for the Lightning. … Evander Kane has five points and 20 shots on goal in the past four games for the Jets.

Injury report: Goaltender Ben Bishop joined Tampa Bay's injured list with an upper-body ailment. The Lightning are already without Stamkos (leg) and defensemen Keith Aulie (hand) and Brian Lee (knee). With Bishop out, the Lightning recalled Cedric Desjardins from the Syracuse Crunch (AHL). … The Jets continue to be without defensemen Paul Postma (leg) and Grant Clitsome (undisclosed) and forwards Matt Halischuk (upper body) and Jim Slater (groin).

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