Columbus at Tampa Bay
When: 7:30 PM ET, Saturday, January 31, 2015
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
The Tampa Bay Lightning look to avenge one of their four losses in 25 home games when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. The Lightning have won nine straight contests on home ice, matching the franchise record that included four consecutive victories at the end of the 2011-12 season and the first five of the 2012-13 campaign. Tampa Bay has won 11 of its last 15 overall and the Blue Jackets are 3-6-0 over their last nine games after a 3-2 loss at Florida on Thursday.
Columbus has split a pair of games since No. 1 goalie Sergei Bobrovsky went down with a groin injury that will keep him out 4-6 weeks. The Blue Jackets managed only 19 goals in the last nine contests, but All Star Ryan Johansen tallied nine times in his last 13 outings. Captain Steven Stamkos notched his 27th goal in the 5-1 victory over Detroit on Thursday as the Lightning regained first place in the Atlantic Division.TV:
7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Columbus), Sun Sports (Tampa Bay)ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (21-23-3):
Center Artem Anisimov had an assist in his return to the lineup Thursday after missing 23 games with a torn triceps in his left arm. “The first game back there’s going to be a little rust and timing and speed, but he didn’t look out of place,” Columbus coach Todd Richards told reporters. Defenseman Ryan Murray, the second overall pick in the 2012 draft who has played only four games this season due to a knee injury, could return as early as Saturday.ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (31-15-4):
Cedric Paquette had gone 29 games without a goal before scoring at Carolina on Tuesday and registering his first career hat trick against Detroit two days later. Paquette, one of the team’s top penalty killers, has centered rookie Jonathan Drouin and Alex Killorn the past few games. All Star Tyler Johnson, who scored twice at Columbus on Nov. 8, has a team-leading 49 points and needs one to match last season’s total when he was a finalist for the Calder Trophy.OVERTIME
1. Columbus All-Star LW Nick Foligno has recorded four assists in the last four games overall and has six goals in 21 career games against Tampa Bay
2. Tampa Bay D Anton Stralman boasts 23 points, already his second-best season behind the 34 he posted with Columbus in 2009-10.
3. Blue Jackets G Curtis McElhinney had triumphed in four straight decisions before allowing three goals on 31 shots Thursday.PREDICTION:
Lightning 5, Blue Jackets 2
Stats and Records