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Lightning at Hurricanes preview

Kucherov, Stamkos of Tampa Bay try to extend point streaks; Carolina shuffles top three lines

by Kurt Dusterberg / Correspondent

LIGHTNING (7-1-1) at HURRICANES (3-2-1)

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


The Game

Forwards Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov will try to extend their season-opening nine-game point streaks when the Tampa Bay Lightning play the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena.

Stamkos leads the NHL in points (18) and assists (15); Kucherov is second in points (16) and is tied with Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin for the NHL lead in goals with 10. The Lightning are 6-0-1 in their past seven games.

Carolina will go with new combinations on its first three forward lines. Sebastian Aho (no goals) and Elias Lindholm (one goal) will play with center Jordan Staal on the top line. The Hurricanes return home after going 2-2-0 on a road trip that concluded with a 4-3 loss to the Dallas Stars on Saturday.


Players to watch

Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has allowed four goals in his past four starts. He leads NHL goaltenders with seven wins.

Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner, who scored twice in the loss at Dallas, has five goals in his past five games.


They said it

"We don't want to have guys stapled to the bench, but we also have a good thing going and we don't want to change too much. There's a chance he will get in tonight." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper, on the possibility of forward J.T. Brown playing for the first time since Oct. 7

"Obviously they're playing real well. They're pushing the pace offensively, getting it done on specialty teams. So I like the challenge." -- Hurricanes coach Bill Peters on facing the Lightning


Lightning projected lineup

Vladislav Namestnikov -- Steven Stamkos -- Nikita Kucherov

Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Yanni Gourde

Alex Killorn -- Tyler Johnson -- Gabriel Dumont

Chris Kunitz -- J.T. Brown -- Ryan Callahan

Victor Hedman -- Jake Dotchin

Mikhail Sergachev -- Anton Stralman

Braydon Coburn -- Dan Girardi

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Peter Budaj

Scratched: Andrej Sustr, Slater Koekkoek

Injured: Cedric Paquette (upper body)


Hurricanes projected lineup

Sebastian Aho -- Jordan Staal -- Elias Lindholm

Brock McGinn -- Victor Rask -- Teuvo Teravainen

Jeff Skinner -- Derek Ryan -- Justin Williams

Joakim Nordstrom -- Marcus Kruger -- Josh Jooris

Jaccob Slavin -- Brett Pesce

Noah Hanifin -- Justin Faulk

Haydn Fleury -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Scott Darling

Cam Ward

Scratched: Janne Kuokkanen, Klas Dahlbeck

Injured: Lee Stempniak (hip)


Status report

Paquette did not take part in the morning skate and will miss his third straight game. ... Stempniak resumed skating on Monday, but Peters said he's not close to returning. The Hurricanes returned rookie forward Martin Necas to HC Kometa Brno of the Czech Extraliga. Carolina's first-round pick (No. 12) in the 2017 NHL Draft played in one game, against the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 17.


Stat pack

Namestnikov has a six-game point streak (one goal, six assists). Stamkos scored his 113th power-play goal in a 7-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, passing Vincent Lecavalier to become Tampa Bay's all-time leader. … Staal has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past three games.

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