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Preview: Lightning at Blue Jackets

Andrei Vasilevskiy starts for Tampa Bay; Columbus looks to continue dominance at home

by Craig Merz / NHL.com Correspondent

LIGHTNING (13-9-1) at BLUE JACKETS (11-5-4)

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

 

Lightning team scope

Tampa Bay Lightning backup goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy is expected to start against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He has won four straight games and leads the NHL with a 1.50 goals-against average and and has a .951 save percentage in eight games. Forward J.T. Brown is expected to play after missing three games with an upper-body injury. The Lightning have lost two straight, including a 5-3 loss at home to the Blue Jackets on Friday, and are 1-3-0 in their past four games. The game will mark the first in Columbus for former Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards, now an assistant with the Lightning. He was fired Oct. 20, 2015, after an 0-7-0 start and was replaced by current coach John Tortorella. Richards was 127-112-21 in five seasons with Columbus from 2011-16. 

 

Blue Jackets team scope

Columbus is 1-1-2 following a four-game winning streak. They are 7-1-1 in their past nine home games, but those two defeats have come in their past two games at Nationwide Arena, a 3-2 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Nov. 21 and a 2-0 loss to the Calgary Flames on Nov. 23. Columbus has the best power play in the NHL (28.2 percent) and is fourth in goals per game (3.10). Sergei Bobrovsky, who is 11-5-2 with a 2.15 goals-against average, has started 18 of 20 games and is expected to start.

 

Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej Palat -- Tyler Johnson -- Nikita Kucherov

Brayden Point -- Valtteri Filppula -- Ryan Callahan

Jonathan Drouin -- Cedric Paquette -- Alex Killorn

J.T. Brown -- Vladislav Namestnikov -- Brian Boyle

Victor Hedman -- Andrej Sustr

Nikita Nesterov -- Braydon Coburn

Jason Garrison -- Slater Koekkoek

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Ben Bishop

Scratched: Luke Witkowski

Injured: Steven Stamkos (knee), Anton Stralman (upper body)

 

Blue Jackets projected lineup

Brandon Saad -- Alexander Wennberg -- Nick Foligno

Boone Jenner -- Brandon Dubinsky -- Cam Atkinson

Scott Hartnell -- William Karlsson -- Josh Anderson

Markus Hannikainen -- Lukas Sedlak -- Sam Gagner

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Jack Johnson -- David Savard

Ryan Murray -- Markus Nutivaara

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Scott Harrington, Dalton Prout

Injured: David Clarkson (back), Matt Calvert (upper-body)

 

Status report

Stralman may be available after missing the past eight games. ... The Lightning reassigned forward Erik Condra to Syracuse of the American Hockey League on Monday. … Calvert has missed the past three games and his status is unknown. The Blue Jackets did not hold a morning skate Tuesday.

 

Who's hot

Kucherov leads the League with 18 points (10 goals) in November. ... Atkinson has four goals and eight assists and is plus-7 in the past eight games.

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