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Lightning at Kings preview

Tampa Bay can extend point streak to 16 games; Quick eyes 300th NHL win for Los Angeles

by Dan Greenspan / Correspondent

LIGHTNING (31-7-2) at KINGS (16-22-3)

10:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN, SN360, FS-W, SUN, NHL.TV


The Game

The Tampa Bay Lightning look to extend their NHL season-long point streak to 16 games when they visit the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Thursday.

The Lightning, who have the best record in the NHL, have won six straight games, are 14-0-1 in their past 15 games and have not lost in regulation since a 3-1 defeat against the Anaheim Ducks on Nov. 27. The longest point streak in Tampa Bay history is 18 games (14-0-2 with two ties, Feb. 5-March 12, 2004).

Goalie Jonathan Quick will start for the Kings and will try to become the fifth United States-born goalie to reach 300 wins in the NHL. Quick is two wins behind Mike Richter (301) for the fourth-most NHL wins by a U.S.-born goalie; Ryan Miller and John Vanbiesbrouck share the lead with 374 wins. Tom Barrasso is third with 369.

Los Angeles is 5-2-0 in its past seven games after going 2-6-2 in its previous 10 games.


Players to watch

Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov has 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists) in an 11-game point streak. He needs one point for 400 in the NHL.  

Kings center Anze Kopitar is one goal shy of 300 in the NHL and would become the first Slovenia-born player to reach the milestone.


They said it

"I've been fortunate to watch his maturation as a player and when he first came in to now. The one thing, it doesn't come easy when you get the points he's been getting. You have to work at it." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper on forward Nikita Kucherov

"The signs of good teams is they just kind of wear you down because they come shift after shift. You might be able to handle one shift or two, but then they put together like 18, 19 in a row and that's when you get in trouble, so we've got to stay good." -- Kings coach Willie Desjardins on the Lightning


Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej Palat -- Steven Stamkos -- Alex Killorn  

Tyler Johnson -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Adam Erne -- Anthony Cirelli -- Yanni Gourde   

Mathieu Joseph -- Cedric Paquette -- Ryan Callahan  

Victor Hedman -- Anton Stralman

Ryan McDonagh -- Erik Cernak  

Braydon Coburn -- Dan Girardi

Louis Domingue

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Scratched: Danick Martel, Mikhail Sergachev

Injured: J.T. Miller (upper body)


Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown   

Brendan Leipsic -- Jeff Carter -- Ilya Kovalchuk   

Nikita Scherbak -- Adrian Kempe -- Tyler Toffoli   

Austin Wagner -- Nate Thompson -- Matt Luff  

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Sean Walker

Dion Phaneuf -- Oscar Fantenberg

Jonathan Quick

Jack Campbell

Scratched: Paul LaDue, Kyle Clifford  

Injured: Alec Martinez (upper body), Carl Hagelin (knee), Trevor Lewis (foot), Jonny Brodzinski (shoulder)


Status report

The Lightning did not hold a morning skate Thursday. … Martinez skated in practice Thursday but did not take contact and will miss his 12th straight game.


Stat pack

The Lightning have scored at least four goals in eight of their past nine games. … The Kings have scored two goals or fewer in three of their past four games.

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