As the Lightning celebrate Fan Appreciation Night at Amalie Arena on their regular season home finale, they also have a big contest ahead of them on the ice as the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals come into town.
This is the Lightning and Capitals third and final meeting of this season as the Lightning have won both of the previous matchups, the first one being a 6-3 win that featured a huge showing by Alex Killorn who scored a hat trick in the game. The other matchup was a 5-4 Bolts victory in overtime, as Victor Hedman was the hero in extra action.
The Lightning will have fresh legs tonight, as their last game came on Monday night against the Boston Bruins. The Bolts came back in that game winning it 5-4. Before their loss to the Blues last Saturday, the Lightning rode a seven-game winning streak. They have won eight of there last nine games.
The Capitals come in off a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes and are riding a three-game winning streak. Only three points ahead of the New York Islanders for first in the Metropolitan Division, every game is crucial for the Caps as they want home ice advantage in the first and second rounds.
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Tampa Bay looks to set a new record tonight, as they would beat their team record of 32 home wins from 2014-2015 season with a win tonight. They would also tie the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens for second most wins in a season with 60.
Ondrej Palat is expected to make his return from an upper-body injury tonight, while Anton Stralman is expected to remain on the shelf for at least one more game. As Yanni Gourde will make his return to the lineup, after serving a two-game suspension, we will see if head coach Jon Cooper selects Adam Erne or veteran Ryan Callahan for that fourth-line winger spot.
Potential Lightning Line Combinations:
Yanni Gourde – Cedric Paquette – Ryan Callahan
Victor Hedman – Mikhail Sergachev
Lightning vs Capitals:
Amalie Arena – 7pm EST
Watch: NHL Network, Fox Sports Sun, NBCSWA