The last time Columbus played Tampa Bay, that 5-1 victory kicked off a 16 game winning streak. Since that streak, the Blue Jackets have lost 3 of the last 4 and are desperate to get back to their winning ways. They’re hoping the Lightning are the cure to what ails, as Columbus defeated them a combined 10-4 in their first two meetings.
To that end, John Tortorella has returned to his line blender after remaining consistent with the lineup for the last two months. Of note is Cam Atkinson getting bumped up to the top line with Alexander Wennberg and Brandon Saad, and Brandon Dubinsky getting two new wingers in Scott Hartnell and Nick Foligno.
Sergei Bobrovsky and Matt Calvert are both recovered from their illness and were able to practice yesterday.
Anton Forsberg was returned to Cleveland and Markus Hannikainen was recalled, though likely just as a healthy scratch/emergency replacement. Joonas Korpisalo is the backup.
On the Tampa side, they won their first game of 2017 last night against the Sabres, ending a 4 game skid. They have been battling injuries but several players returned from injury Thursday, including goalie Ben Bishop. Andrei Vasilevskiy will start tonight.
The start time of the game was pushed back to 8 p.m. to allow time for a pregame ceremony to retire the jersey of Lightning great Martin St. Louis. He was a key part of the 2004 Stanley Cup Champion team, under the direction of Coach Tortorella. Torts will be part of the ceremony for his former player.
An undersized right winger who blossomed under Torts? That sounds kinda familiar, doesn’t it...
|Brandon Saad||Alexander Wennberg||Cam Atkinson|
|Scott Hartnell||Brandon Dubinsky||Nick Foligno|
|Boone Jenner||William Karlsson||Josh Anderson|
|Matt Calvert||Lukas Sedlak||Sam Gagner|
|Zach Werenski||Seth Jones|
|Jack Johnson||David Savard|
|Ryan Murray||Markus Nutivaara|
|Ondrej||Vladislav Namestnikov||Nikita Kucherov|
|Alex Killorn||Tyler Johnson||Matthew Peca|
|Brian Boyle||Valtteri Filppula||Jonathan Drouin|
|Michael Bournival||Cedric Paquette||Gabriel Dumont|
|Victor Hedman||Anton Stralman|
|Jason Garrison||Andrej Sustr|
|Braydon Coburn||Nikita Nesterov|