National Hockey League
Preview
Tampa Bay at Toronto
When: 7:30 PM ET, Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

The Tampa Bay Lightning look to seize first place in the Atlantic Division just 24 hours after clinching a playoff spot when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. The injury-hampered Lightning knocked off Montreal 5-3 on Monday for their franchise-record 47th victory and moved within a point of the first-place Canadiens while avoiding a three-game losing streak. Tampa Bay’s high-scoring offense attempts to take advantage of the Leafs, who have allowed 49 goals in the last 12 games.

Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman, who left in the third period Monday with an apparent leg injury, is questionable while fellow top-four defensemen Braydon Coburn and Jason Garrison are out with injuries. Backup Andrei Vasilevskiy will likely get the start in goal for Tampa Bay after Ben Bishop matched his team record with a 37th victory Monday. Toronto comes in off a come-from-behind 4-3 overtime victory over Ottawa on Saturday that snapped a seven-game losing streak.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Sun Sports (Tampa Bay), TVA and TSN4 (Toronto)

ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (47-23-7): Vladislav Namestnikov has taken full advantage of his opportunity after the trade of fellow forward Brett Connolly while recording six goals and three assists in 12 games since his recall in early March. Namestnikov centered Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov on Monday with Tyler Johnson injured and had two goals and an assist. Cedric Paquette, who appeared to suffer a serious injury Saturday in Detroit, was in the lineup Monday and registered seven hits and three blocks.

ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (28-42-6): Toronto’s top three scorers stepped up to collect 10 points in the victory over Ottawa on Saturday, led by Tyler Bozak’s three goals and one assist. Phil Kessel, who boasts a team-best 57 points, and James van Riemsdyk (52) each had three assists as the Maple Leafs produced four goals for the first time since Feb. 21. Goalie Jonathan Bernier is 0-6-0 in his last six decisions while James Reimer was in net Saturday to pick up his second win since Dec. 14 (2-12-0).

OVERTIME

1. Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos had an assist Monday to take over the team-scoring lead with 68 points and owns 31 in 24 career games against the Maple Leafs.

2. Toronto F Leo Komarov, who has 25 points and has a plus-1 rating this season, is expected to play his 100th NHL game Tuesday.

3. Palat has 17 multi-point performances this season, including four in his last eight outings.

PREDICTION: Lightning 4, Maple Leafs 1
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Tampa Bay 47-23-2-5 W1 30-8-0-1 17-15-2-4 3-4-0-0 44-19-2-5 19-4-0-3
Toronto 28-42-3-3 W1 20-17-1-0 8-25-2-3 1-2-0-0 27-40-3-3 11-12-1-1
Last Meeting
Tampa Bay Toronto
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
3/5/15 TOR 2 TB 4 31 25 1-3 27 27 0-3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Tampa Bay S. Stamkos 2
Toronto D. Booth 1
Goals Player  
Tampa Bay R. Callahan 1
Toronto D. Booth 1
Assists Player  
Tampa Bay S. Stamkos 2
Toronto P. Holland 1
Saves Player  
Tampa Bay B. Bishop 25
Toronto J. Bernier 27
Season
Total Points Player  
Tampa Bay S. Stamkos 70
Toronto P. Kessel 61
Goals Player  
Tampa Bay S. Stamkos 41
Toronto J. Van Riemsdyk 28
Assists Player  
Tampa Bay T. Johnson 43
Toronto P. Kessel 36
Saves Player  
Tampa Bay B. Bishop 1429
Toronto J. Bernier 1539
Quickchart Matchup
Tampa Bay Off vs  Toronto Def
3.21 GF
3.17 GA
29.6 Shots
33.1 Shots
47 PP
47 PK
Toronto Off vs  Tampa Bay Def
2.55 GF
2.55 GA
29.2 Shots
27.6 Shots
44 PP
40 PK