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Lightning at Panthers preview

Johnson out week to week with lower-body injury; Florida seeks third straight win

by Alain Poupart / Independent Correspondent

LIGHTNING (14-11-3) at PANTHERS (15-9-5)



The Game

The Florida Panthers look for their third consecutive victory when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning at BB&T Center on Tuesday.

Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky will make his third consecutive start after stopping 63 of 65 shots to help the Panthers defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 on Saturday and the San Jose Sharks 5-1 on Sunday.

Florida has won two straight after going 1-4-0 in its previous five games.

Tyler Johnson is out week to week because of a lower-body injury for the Lightning, who are 2-4-1 in their past six games after going 6-2-0 in their previous eight games. The center will miss his second consecutive game; he did not play in Tampa Bay's 5-1 loss against the New York Islanders on Monday.

The Lightning and Panthers faced each other in the first two games of the season, with each team winning on home ice.


Players to watch

Lightning forward Steven Stamkos has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past four games and 64 points (32 goals, 32 assists) in 52 games against Florida.

Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in a five-game point streak.


They said it

"It's tough because we're working hard and putting a great effort forward. Obviously we're not getting the results we want, but we can't change anything because it's a blueprint for success." -- Lightning defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

"[The Lightning are a] team that we know they're going to get on a roll this year. Right now we're fighting for space in our playoff race. It's an important two points for us." -- Panthers coach Joel Quenneville


Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Carter Verhaeghe -- Steven Stamkos -- Yanni Gourde

Alex Killorn -- Anthony Cirelli - Mathieu Joseph

Pat Maroon -- Cedric Paquette -- Mitchell Stephens

Victor Hedman -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Ryan McDonagh -- Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev -- Luke Schenn

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Jan Rutta

Injured: Braydon Coburn (lower body), Tyler Johnson (lower body)


Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov

Mike Hoffman -- Vincent Trocheck -- Brett Connolly

Frank Vatrano -- Aleksi Saarela -- Noel Acciari

Dominic Toninato -- Brian Boyle -- Colton Sceviour

Keith Yandle -- Aaron Ekblad

MacKenzie Weegar -- Anton Stralman

Mike Matheson -- Josh Brown

Sergei Bobrovsky   

Chris Driedger

Scratched: Mark Pysyk, Denis Malgin

Injured: Jayce Hawryluk (upper body)


Status report

The Lightning did not hold a morning skate. … Tampa Bay sent forward Cory Conacher to Syracuse of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. … The Panthers will use the same lineup for the third consecutive game.


Stat pack

Kucherov has 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) in 24 games against Florida and is two goals shy of 200 in the NHL. … Tampa Bay ranks second in the League with 3.64 goals per game, behind the Colorado Avalanche (3.70). … Barkov has seven points (three goals, four assists) in a five-game point streak. … Hoffman has four goals in two games against the Lightning this season, including a hat trick in the Panthers' 4-3 victory at BB&T Center on Oct. 5.

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