Tampa Bay Lightning Preview: Bolt’s Beginning Western Canadian Road Trip

Tampa Bay Lightning at Winnipeg Jets: Game 54
Time: 8:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Canada Life Centre
Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, TSN3
Opponent SB Nation Site: Arctic Ice Hockey

Zach Bogosian could make his return to the lineup for the first time since January 15th tonight, or at the very least sometime on this road trip. Bogosian suffered lower bodies injuries both at the beginning of the season and again ~20 games later in the mid-January game against the Stars.

The Lightning showed their forward lines in practice, with Cirelli on the top line, the kid line as the third line, and the school bus line together on the fourth. Actually, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare wasn’t at practice for a “maintenance day,” but he was substituted for Andrej Sustr as a placeholder so it’s likely he’ll be good to go.

As mentioned in the Lightning Round, Sustr has been placed on waivers in order to send him back to the Syracuse Crunch. There’s a small chance he gets claimed, but most likely he will clear and head back down once Bogosian comes off LTIR and plays again. The Lightning needed to waive Sustr in order to activate Bogosian.

Speaking of the defense pairs, they are still unknown, according to Gabby Shirley, who reported the pairs were all over the place with Bogosian taking part. It will be some combination of Hedman, Rutta, McDonagh, Cernak, Sergachev, Foote, and Bogosian. In what order, who knows yet. Initially, I would’ve thought Foote will be coming out, but Foote scored his first goal of the season and two points in the last game. Maybe it’ll be Rutta instead, with Sergachev or Bogosian skating with Hedman.

Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lines

forwards

Anthony Cirelli – Brayden Point – Nikita Kucherov
Ondrej Palat – Steven Stamkos – Alex Killorn
Mathieu Joseph – Ross Colton – Taylor Raddysh
Pat Maroon – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – Corey Perry

Defense

Victor Hedman – Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh – Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev – Cal Foote

Goal tenders

Andrei Vasilevskiy – projected starter
Brian Elliott

The Jets didn’t practice between their last game on Sunday and this game, so I’m posting the same lineup as Sunday.

Winnipeg are a middling team, like they’ve been their whole time since moving from Atlanta. They are 50% in shot share and 49% in expected goals, but their last 10 games they’ve spiraled down to 45% and two wins in their last seven games, including back-to-back losses on their most recent homestand.

A lot of this has come from Connor Hellebuyck allowing 4 goals in each of his last four starts and more than two goals in eight of his last 11 starts. The Lightning will try to get out from their slow starts and continue the trend for the Jets.

Winnipeg Jets Projected Lines

forwards

Paul Stastny – Mark Scheifele – Blake Wheeler
Kyle Connor – Pierre-Luc Dubois – Evgeny Svechnikov
Andrew Copp – Adam Lowry – Nikolai Ehlers
Kristian Vesalainen – Dominic Toninato – Harkins

Defense

Josh Morrissey – Dylan DeMelo
Brendon Dillon – Neal Pionk
Logan Stanley – Nate Schmidt

Goal tenders

Connor Hellebuyck – projected starter
Eric Comrie

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