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Lightning at Red Wings preview

Tampa Bay looks to move closer to first in division; Detroit 4-18-2 in past 24 games

by Dave Hogg / Independent Correspondent

LIGHTNING (43-20-5) at RED WINGS (16-48-5)

5 p.m. ET; FS-D, SUN, NHL.TV


The Game

The Tampa Bay Lightning can gain ground in the Atlantic Division when they face the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on Sunday.

The second-place Lightning defeated the division-leading Boston Bruins 5-3 on Saturday to move within seven points of first. Tampa Bay has won three of its past four games after a four-game losing streak.

Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman is out with a lower-body injury sustained Saturday, but defenseman Ryan McDonagh will play after he missed 14 games with the same injury. 

Detroit defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on Friday to end a six-game winless streak (0-5-1). The Red Wings have lost 20 of their past 24 games (4-18-2).


Players to watch

Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov scored against the Bruins for his second goal in two games. He has 43 points (20 goals, 23 assists) in his past 30.

Red Wings center Dylan Larkin had an assist against Chicago and has four points (one goal, three assists) in a three-game point streak.


They said it

"I think it's big, because we go into the period, they had scored two goals, there were a couple fights, it seems like momentum's kind of going in their favor, they get a power-play goal. To get that at the beginning of the period is huge going forward." -- Lightning forward Alex Killorn on scoring to give them a 4-2 lead against the Bruins at 1:08 of the third period

"He's played good hockey. He still has his ups and downs and I think he's going to be even better as his body gets stronger and quicker, but it was good for him to get that point." -- Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill on rookie defenseman Gustav Lindstrom, who got his first NHL point Friday


Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Blake Coleman -- Anthony Cirelli -- Alex Killorn

Barclay Goodrow -- Mitchell Stephens -- Tyler Johnson

Pat Maroon -- Cedric Paquette -- Yanni Gourde

Ryan McDonagh -- Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Braydon Coburn -- Zach Bogosian

Curtis McElhinney

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Scratched: Luke Schenn, Carter Verhaeghe

Injured: Jan Rutta (lower body), Steven Stamkos (core muscle injury), Victor Hedman (lower body)


Red Wings projected lineup

Tyler Bertuzzi -- Dylan Larkin -- Anthony Mantha

Sam Gagner -- Valtteri Filppula -- Robby Fabbri

Justin Abdelkader -- Frans Nielsen -- Dmytro Timashov

Darren Helm -- Luke Glendening -- Brendan Perlini

Trevor Daley -- Filip Hronek

Patrik Nemeth -- Alex Biega

Madison Bowey -- Gustav Lindstrom

Jonathan Bernier

Jimmy Howard

Scratched: Dennis Cholowski, Christoffer Ehn, Jonathan Ericsson

Injured: Danny DeKeyser (back), Filip Zadina (ankle), Adam Erne (hand)


Status report

Rutta is still a few days away from playing. Lightning coach Jon Cooper said the defeneman could return during a three-game road trip to Western Canada that starts March 18 . … Zadina took part in a full practice Saturday for the first time since breaking his ankle Jan. 31. There remains no timeline for the forward's return.


Stat pack

Kucherov has 28 points (16 goals, 12 assists) in 24 games against the Red Wings. … Bernier has a .923 save percentage since Dec. 12, eighth in the NHL (minimum eight starts) during that span.

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