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National Hockey League
Preview
Minnesota at Tampa Bay
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 22, 2014
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida

The Tampa Bay Lightning look to rebound after two straight rough outings on the road when they host the red-hot Minnesota Wild on Saturday. The Lightning followed an 8-1-1 stretch by dropping consecutive 5-2 decisions to the New York Islanders and Toronto and will face a Wild squad that has won a season-high four straight contests and beat them 7-2 on Oct. 25. Tampa Bay hopes to heal its wounds with seven of the next nine games at home, where it is 7-2-1 to start the campaign.

The Lightning played one of their best games of the season in a 5-1 victory at the New York Rangers on Monday before struggling in the last two. “We have made some costly mistakes the last couple games, for whatever reason,” Captain Steven Stamkos told reporters. “It’s not the way we played in the first 18 games.” Minnesota posted 15 goals during its win streak, including Jason Zucker’s go-ahead tally in the final minute to beat Philadelphia 3-2 on Thursday.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN North-Plus (Minnesota), Sun Sports (Tampa Bay)

ABOUT THE WILD (11-7-0): Nino Niederreiter has warmed up after a slow start, producing five goals in the last four games to tie Zach Parise and Jason Pominville for the team lead with 12 points. Power forward Charlie Coyle has also been key during the streak with four assists and goalie Darcy Kuemper rebounded from a rough outing against Buffalo to stop 67-of-70 shots in the last three games. Captain Mikko Koivu, who has two goals in 18 games, missed practice with an illness Friday and is questionable versus Tampa Bay.

ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (13-6-2): Top-pair defenseman Victor Hedman (fractured finger) is skating with the team while closing in on a return to the lineup and Tampa Bay needs him badly after springing leaks the last two games. Ben Bishop allowed more than three goals in a game (four) for the first time this season against Toronto on Wednesday as the Lightning gave up several Grade-A chances. Stamkos collected five goals and five assists in his last eight games and has moved near the top of the league with 23 points.

OVERTIME

1. Minnesota LW Thomas Vanek boasts 25 goals and 17 assists in 37 career games against the Lightning.

2. Tampa Bay’s rookie F Cedric Paquette, who has notched five goals in 11 contests, missed Thursday’s game and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

3. The Wild, who are 28th in the league in power-play percentage (10.2), has scored man-advantage goals in consecutive games for the first time this season.

PREDICTION: Lightning 3, Wild 1
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Minnesota 11-7-0-0 W4 7-1-0-0 4-6-0-0 2-1-0-0 9-6-0-0 5-0-0-0
Tampa Bay 13-6-0-2 L2 7-2-0-1 6-4-0-1 0-0-0-0 13-6-0-2 ---
Last Meeting
Minnesota Tampa Bay
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
10/25/14 TB 2 MIN 7 22 17 0-1 19 15 0-4
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Minnesota Z. Parise 2
Tampa Bay A. Stralman 2
Goals Player  
Minnesota J. Zucker 2
Tampa Bay N. Kucherov 1
Assists Player  
Minnesota J. Pominville 2
Tampa Bay E. Brewer 1
Saves Player  
Minnesota D. Kuemper 17
Tampa Bay B. Bishop 11
Season
Total Points Player  
Minnesota J. Pominville 20
Tampa Bay N. Kucherov 25
Goals Player  
Minnesota N. Niederreiter 10
Tampa Bay S. Stamkos 14
Assists Player  
Minnesota J. Pominville 13
Tampa Bay T. Johnson 17
Saves Player  
Minnesota D. Kuemper 369
Tampa Bay B. Bishop 493
Quickchart Matchup
Minnesota Off vs  Tampa Bay Def
2.89 GF
2.71 GA
32.8 Shots
28 Shots
6 PP
14 PK
Tampa Bay Off vs  Minnesota Def
3.52 GF
2.28 GA
29.8 Shots
24.6 Shots
16 PP
7 PK