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Lightning at Devils preview

Kucherov eyes goal in seventh straight for Tampa Bay; Hischier, Hall on same line for New Jersey

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

LIGHTNING (5-1-0) at DEVILS (4-1-0)

7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV


The Game

Forward Nikita Kucherov will attempt to extend his goal streak to seven games when the Tampa Bay Lightning face the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Tuesday.

Kucherov, who has 10 points (seven goals, three assists) in six games, scored twice in a 3-2 win at the Detroit Red Wings on Monday to lead the Lightning to their fourth straight win. Kucherov will try to become the second player in the past 30 years to score a goal in at least seven consecutive games to begin a season since Pittsburgh Penguins center Mario Lemieux scored 18 (38 points) in the first 12 games of the 1992-93 season.

Devils rookie Nico Hischier, the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, will center left wing Taylor Hall to begin a game for the first time this season. Hischier has two assists, a plus-1 rating, and nine shots on goal, averaging 15:00 of ice time in five games.


Players to watch

Victor Hedman, who finished third in the voting for the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman last season, leads Tampa Bay in ice time (26:01).

Devils forward Miles Wood has three goals, a plus-4 rating and eight shots on goal in the past three games.


They said it

"[Kucherov] has so many assets, but his best is shooting the puck. He works at his game. He didn't show up to Tampa in September; he showed up in July. … And we're reaping the benefits of that." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper

"[Hischier] can help you win multiple ways. If he continues to progress and play the way he's played, the points and goals will come, but the most important thing is he helps you win. He's generating a lot of chances 5-on-5 and has been good defensively." -- Devils coach John Hynes


Lightning projected lineup

Vladislav Namestnikov -- Steven Stamkos -- Nikita Kucherov

Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Yanni Gourde

Chris Kunitz - Cedric Paquette -- Ryan Callahan

Alex Killorn -- Tyler Johnson

Victor Hedman -- Jake Dotchin

Mikhail Sergachev -- Anton Stralman

Braydon Coburn -- Dan Girardi

Peter Budaj

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Scratched: J.T. Brown, Gabriel Dumont, Andrej Sustr, Slater Koekkoek

Injured: Erik Condra (back)


Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Nico Hischier -- Drew Stafford

Marcus Johansson -- Adam Henrique -- Kyle Palmieri

Jesper Bratt -- Pavel Zacha -- Jimmy Hayes

Miles Wood -- Blake Coleman -- Brian Gibbons

Andy Greene -- Damon Severson

John Moore -- Steven Santini

Mirco Mueller -- Will Butcher

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Ben Lovejoy, Stefan Noesen, Dalton Prout

Injured: Travis Zajac (pectoral muscle)


Status report

The Lightning did not hold a morning skate. Budaj could make his season debut. ... Mueller will return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch the past two games. Hynes said forward Brian Boyle (chronic myeloid leukemia) is scheduled to skate and work out later this week.


Stat pack

Tampa Bay has scored at least one power-play goal in each of its first six games and can equal its franchise record for most consecutive games with a power-play goal to start a season (seven in 2002-03 and 2000-01). ... The Lightning have killed 11 straight power plays over the past two games. ... Butcher is the first rookie defenseman in NHL history to record at least eight assists in his first five career League games.

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