|4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT, January 8, 2019
Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida Attendance: 19,092
Blue Jackets-Lightning Preview
Columbus Blue Jackets at Tampa Bay Lightning
- The Blue Jackets beat the Panthers, 4-3, on Saturday and have earned points in nine of their last 11 games despite tallying only one power-play goal. Since December 13, their 17 points earned are tied with the Lightning for fifth most in hockey. Their 3.8 power-play percentage is the worst since then.
- Tampa Bay lost in San Jose, 5-2, after earning a point in 16 consecutive games. It was just the 10th time the Lightning scored two or fewer goals in a game this season, the fewest such games in the NHL.
- The Lightning beat the Blue Jackets, 8-2, on October 13, the most goals either team has scored against the other all-time. Tampa Bay has won four straight against Columbus, outscoring the team, 19-6.
- Artemi Panarin assisted on the game-winning goal in overtime against the Panthers and is riding a seven-game point streak. That is the second-longest streak of his career, behind a nine-game stretch in December 2016.
- The Lightning are 21-0-0 when Nikita Kucherov tallies at least two points this season. In the last 30 seasons, the only player to have at least 20 multi-point games and have his team go undefeated was Pittsburgh's Evengi Malkin in 2016-17 (21-0-0). The Penguins would go on to win the Stanley Cup that season.
- The Lightning have won seven consecutive home games -- their 17-4-0 (.810) record at home is the best in hockey. They have scored at least five goals in 10 home games, tied with the Jets for most in the NHL. The Blue Jackets have scored at least five goals in only nine games this season, home or away.
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The Tampa Bay Lightning will be looking to start a new streak when they return home to play host to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.
The Lightning was their 16-game point streak snapped Saturday with a 5-2 defeat at San Jose, their first regulation loss in 5 1/2 weeks.
Tampa Bay, which has a league-leading 66 points with a 32-8-2 record, had won seven straight games and was 15-0-1 since a Nov. 27 loss at Anaheim.
"I felt we deserved a little better fate, we hit the post three times," Lightning coach Jon Cooper told reporters after the loss. "Tonight was just not our night. For 16 or 17 games it was our night. Give them credit, they skated well. Hitting three posts, when you're on a streak, those probably go in. Tonight they didn't. This is still a great group of guys to coach."
Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov, the league's leading scorer with 69 points, also saw his 12-game point streak snapped. Teammate Brayden Point's eight-game scoring run ended, as well.
"Obviously, over the course of the season, you're going to lose games," Lightning forward Tyler Johnson told the Tampa Bay Times. "We've been playing extremely well and we've had some good luck on our side in some situations. Now it's just time to learn from this, move on and start another one."
Added defenseman Ryan McDonagh: "In the grand scheme of things, did we think we were going to win every game the rest of the way? Probably not. We like where our team is headed for sure, we've proven that against some good teams, we can find ways to win. It didn't happen here tonight, but we should feel confident going forward."
The Blue Jackets are doing just fine themselves, going 8-2-1 in their past 11 games -- including a 4-3 overtime victory Saturday against the host Florida Panthers.
Columbus (24-14-3, 51 points) has relied heavily on its top line of Artemi Panarin, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Cam Atkinson, but got some much-needed scoring depth Saturday. Brandon Dubinsky, Josh Anderson and Anthony Duclair tallied in regulation and defenseman Seth Jones netted the overtime winner on the first shift.
"It can't be three guys and a couple of defensemen, because that's going to dry up," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella told the Columbus Dispatch. "That's going to get checked. They're going to try to neutralize that stuff, so we need to get other guys going."
To that end, Tortorella broke up his top line during parts of the past two games.
Panarin moved to left wing on the second line with center Alexander Wennberg and Anthony Duclair, and moved Oliver Bjorkstrand up to Panarin's spot with Dubois and Atkinson.
"I think it gives (Wennberg) a couple of people that he's able to get the puck to," Tortorella told the Dispatch. "There is a little bit of chemistry with (Duclair) and (Panarin). Especially on the road, I think it gives the (home) team a question mark as far as, 'Who do check?' The past two nights, I've liked the look of those two lines."
Updated January 7, 2019