Columbus Blue Jackets at Tampa Bay Lightning Preview

Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Tampa Bay Lightning (24-13-1) are back home to host a Metropolitan division opponent in the Columbus Blue Jackets (12-25-2) tonight, with puck drop scheduled for 7:00p.m. ET. FanDuel has the Lightning at -420 on the moneyline, a massive favorite with the over/under of total goals set at six.

Tampa Bay holds a 2-0 record this season against Columbus. The first meeting occurred back in October, as the Lightning routed the Blue Jackets 5-2 in Columbus. Steven Stamkos lit the lamp twice in that game, and Vladislav Namestnikov, Alex Killorn, & Mikhail Sergachev each tallied two assists in the offensive explosion. The second game on December 15th of last year saw the Lightning run away with another 3-goal victory by a score of 4-1 in Tampa Bay. A three-goal third period headed by Brayden Point and Brandon Hagel helped secure a Bolts win, but backup goaltender Brian Elliott continued to be rock solid with 24 saves on the night.

It’s been a tough year for the Blue Jackets, who have sputtered mightily in an injury-plagued season. Offseason signing Johnny Gaudreau is one of the only main components to have remained healthy thus far, but his game-changing presence alone hasn’t been enough to keep them in any type of playoff race. They sit at the bottom of the Metropolitan division with 26 points.

The Lightning are looking to halt a two-game skid after a 1-2 road trip across the Central division to start 2023. Numerous penalties bogged them down in Friday’s 4-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets, so the Bolts will aim to be much more disciplined in this battle with Columbus. This is also the first of two home games this week for the Lightning.

INJURIES: According to Lightning reporter Gabby Shirley, Jon Cooper said of Rudolfs Balcers after practice yesterday, “I would anticipate him ready to play in games for sure within the next week.”

Blue Jackets defenseman Nick Blankenburg could be nearing a return after suffering a fractured ankle back on November 10th. LW Eric Robinson and G Daniil Tarasov are both considered day-to-day with upper-body injuries Full List of CBJ players on IR from CBS Sports here.

Odds (Courtesy of FanDuel): TBL -420 ML/CBJ +320 ML, Over 6 -122/Under 6 +120

Where to watch: Bally Sports Sun, NHL PowerPlay, ESPN+

Where to listen: Lightning Radio 24/7, 102.5 MHz-FM

Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL

January 10, 2023, 7:00 p.m. ET

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