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game preview

Lightning at Wild preview

Tampa Bay seeks 12th win in 13 games; Minnesota 0-3-1 in previous four

by Corey Long / Independent Correspondent

LIGHTNING (28-14-4) at WILD (20-20-6)

8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV


The Game

The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to win for the 12th time in 13 games when they face the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday.

The Lightning, who are coming off a 4-3 shootout win against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, are playing the front end of a back to back; they visit the Winnipeg Jets on Friday.

Minnesota is 0-3-1 in its past four games and has been outscored 18-9 during that stretch.

The Wild, who defeated the Lightning 5-4 at Amalie Arena on Dec. 5, are 7-0-0 against them at home since a 3-1 loss April 2, 2011.


Players to watch

Lightning forward Steven Stamkos has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past six games. 

Wild forward Marcus Foligno has five goals in his past five games. 


They said it

"We are playing a lot more of a 200-foot game, a lot more attention to detail on the defensive end. ... It's interesting how we've grown [since that game]. Hopefully we'll turn the tables tonight." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper on his team's play since a 5-4 loss to the Wild on Dec. 5 

"We decided collectively that some of the guys, they aren't physically tired, but mentally they needed a break. ... For the 1-5-1 stretch that we're on, it's the little things that get to us and we don't overcome the adversity. When we were on our 11-game (run), when we got behind it didn't matter, we could score 2-3 goals. -- Minnesota Wild coach Bruce Boudreau


Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Steven Stamkos -- Anthony Cirelli -- Tyler Johnson

Alexander Volkov -- Cedric Paquette -- Alex Killorn

Yanni Gourde -- Mitchell Stephens -- Carter Verhaeghe

Victor Hedman -- Jan Rutta

Ryan McDonagh -- Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Curtis McElhinney

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Injured: Pat Maroon (upper body)

Scratched: Braydon Coburn, Luke Schenn


Wild projected lineup

Zach Parise -- Eric Staal -- Mats Zuccarello

Jason Zucker -- Victor Rask -- Kevin Fiala

Marcus Foligno -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Luke Kunin

Jordan Greenway -- Mikko Koivu -- Ryan Hartman

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba

Carson Soucy -- Greg Pateryn

Alex Stalock

Devan Dubnyk

Injured: Brad Hunt (illness)

Scratched: Ryan Donato, Nick Seeler


Status report

Boudreau said Hunt, a forward, was sent home with his illness. ... Maroon participated in the morning skate, but the forward will not play Thursday. ... McDonagh could return to the lineup after missing the past six games with an upper-body injury. 


Stat pack

Kunin has five points (one goal, four assists) in his past five games. ... Point does not have a point in his past three games after having 10 points (four goals, six assists) during a seven-game point streak.

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