When in need, you need a spark. Or in tonight's case, a bolt. Tonight, the Lightning travel to Columbus to play the Blue Jackets. The Jackets last played Saturday and suffered an overtime loss to the Islanders. The Bolts last played Saturday and suffered a regulation loss to the Capitals. Both teams are starting back to back match ups- Columbus plays in Dallas tomorrow; Tampa plays in Toronto tomorrow. Both teams are also out of the playoffs, and both were picked to make the playoffs in the preseason. The Bolts are currently 10th in the East; Columbus is last.
This is the first meeting of the season between the teams, and as per usual, here is what happened in Tampa over the offseason. Their only losses were defenseman Mark Barberio (Montréal) and winger Brendan Morrow. They added Erik Condra and Ty McGinn. In terms of their injury lineup, they don't have Tyler Johnson, Jonathan Drouin, Erik Condra, Cedric Paquette, and Ondrej Palat.
For Columbus, they are going with the same lineup, but Joonas Korpisalo is the starter. It is his first NHL in his career. The 21 year old is in his first season in North America, and now is his time to shine.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Boone Jenner - Ryan Johansen - Brandon Saad
Scott Hartnell – Alexander Wennberg – Cam Atkinson
Matt Calvert – Brandon Dubinsky – Nick Foligno
Gregory Campbell - William Karlsson – David Clarkson
Jack Johnson - David Savard
Ryan Murray - Andrew Bodnarchuk
Fedor Tyutin – Kevin Connauton
Injured: Sergei Bobrovsky (groin), Rene Bourque (upper body), Cody Goloubef (jaw), Markus Hannikainen (shoulder)
Scratched: Dalton Prout, Jared Boll
Tampa Bay Lightning
Vladislav Namestnikov - Steven Stamkos – Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn – Brian Boyle - Jonathan Marchessault
J.T. Brown - Valtteri Filppula – Ryan Callahan
Joel Vermin – Yanni Gourde - Brian Boyle – Mike Blunden
Anton Stralman - Victor Hedman
Jason Garrison - Matthew Carle
Braydon Coburn - Andrej Sustr
Injured: Erik Condra (lower body), Cedric Paquette (upper body), Tyler Johnson (undisclosed), Jonathan Drouin (lower body), Ondrej Palat (undisclosed)
Scratched: Nikita Nesterov
Players to Watch
1. Joonas Korpisalo. First game. First call up. Like I said in the preview, it's his first show. It's time for him to go.
2. Viktor Hedman. He is a star defenseman. He can help this team rebound into the playoffs.
Enjoy the games tonight. More to come…