Coming off a hard-earned overtime win against the Southeast Division-leading Washington Capitals, the Tampa Bay Lightning look to extend their season-high five game winning streak to six games as they host one of the teams they are trailing in the division–the Winnipeg Jets. Winnipeg comes into Tampa flying high also after recording a shootout win, 2-1, in Philadelphia Tuesday night.
For the Lightning, Mathieu Garon will be back in net following his nice performance in the Bolts overtime win over the Caps Tuesday night. It’s expected that the Jets will start Ondrej Pavelec.
The last time these two teams met in Tampa was on October 29th, 2011. The Lightning won that game 1-0, on the strength of a power play goal by captain Vincent Lecavalier. For the Jets, Brian Little has been heating up lately, as is evidenced by his game-winning shootout goal over the Flyers Tuesday night.
The Lightning will also look to rely on the suddenly-hot Teddy Purcell, Steve Downie and, of course, the ever dangerous Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and Vinny Lecavalier.
This game, however, will likely come down to goaltending. Garon must be on top of his game, or near the top of his game, for the Lightning to win. Same goes for Pavelec and the Jets chances of winning.
Remember: Faceoff is 7:30pm Thursday night, February 2nd, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Be ready and BE THE THUNDER!!!
You can reach me, Lauren Burg, on Twitter @TBLightning491 and Bolts by the Bay @Boltsbythebay.