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Lightning hope for repeat of recent effort

by Eric Goodman

JETS (10-11-1) at LIGHTNING (10-12-1)


Last 10: Winnipeg 5-5-0; Tampa Bay 4-6-0

Season series: This is the second of four meetings between these Southeast Division clubs. Tampa Bay won the first game 8-3 at home Feb. 1.

Big story: The Lightning try to extend their dominance against the Winnipeg franchise. Their combined record against the Atlanta Thrashers and Winnipeg Jets is 15-2-1, including 9-0-1 at home.

Team Scope:

Jets: Winnipeg was climbing the Eastern Conference standings recently with wins in five of six games, but has dropped two straight since then to division rivals Washington and Florida. With such a tightly-contested conference race this season, the Jets are another hot streak away from getting right back into the thick of the playoff race, but that might be easier said than done.

If Winnipeg is going to turn it around, it will need to improve its power play. The Jets didn't draw a penalty in their 4-1 loss at Florida on Tuesday, but the power play hasn't given their fans much to cheer about anyway as the team is a League-worst 1-for-32 with the man advantage since Feb. 7.

"How do you go through a game not drawing a penalty? Usually that comes from your work ethic or from your battle level," Jets coach Claude Noel told the team's website. "I think that pretty much explains exactly the game you played, and why and how this could be very concerning."

Lightning: Scoring has been the strength for Tampa Bay this season, with a League-best 3.52 goals-per-game average, although a 5-2 win against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday ended a five-game losing streak in which it averaged just two goals a game.

Tampa Bay seeks an effort Thursday similar to what it got against New Jersey, with two goals from Nate Thompson and a 25-save effort from goalie Anders Lindback, who was filling in for the injured Mathieu Garon.

"I thought we came out and played great," Lindback told the team's website. "I didn't think we gave [the Devils] too many chances."

Who's hot: Jets captain Andrew Ladd has two goals and two assists over his last three games. ... Martin St. Louis is in the midst of a three-game point streak for the Lightning, with a goal and four assists in that span.

Injury report: Defensemen Tobias Enstrom (shoulder) and Zach Redmond (leg) remain out of the lineup for Winnipeg. ... Forwards Benoit Pouliot (upper body) and Ryan Malone (lower body) are questionable, while Garon (lower body) is listed as day-to-day for Tampa Bay.

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