NBCSN’s coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season continues with Thursday’s matchup between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Minnesota Wild. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.
Last season, the Lightning were one of the best regular-season teams in NHL history, tying the record for most wins in a season (62) and cruising to the Presidents’ Trophy with 128 points on the season, four shy of matching the all-time record. Tampa went on to get swept out of Round 1 by the Blue Jackets, a sour end to the franchise’s best regular season in history.
The 2019-20 season didn’t start as the Lightning expected. On the morning of Dec. 22, Tampa Bay sat at 17-13-4. They were seven points back of the East Wild Card and needed to turn things around. They did just that – ripping off 10 straight wins to tie the longest winning streak in franchise history. After a disappointing loss in New Jersey last Sunday, the Lightning got back on the winning track Tuesday night with a 4-3 (SO) win over the Kings. In the matter of a month, they are back among the NHL’s most dangerous teams, sitting in second in the Atlantic Division.
Tampa enters Thursday’s game having won 11 of their last 12 games.
Minnesota fell 7-3 in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, their 4th straight loss (0-3-1). After a bizarre lineup error before the start of the game, the Wild fell behind 4-0 in the second period before closing the deficit to 4-2. But then the defense collapsed again, allowing the Penguins to balloon their lead up to 7-2. The seven goals allowed matched a season-worst for the Wild, who also allowed seven goals in their October loss to the Penguins.
The four-game losing streak is Minnesota’s longest since starting the season 0-4-0.
WHAT: Tampa Bay Lightning at Minnesota Wild
WHERE: Xcel Energy Center
WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 16, 7 p.m. ET
LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Lightning-Wild stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.
Ondrej Palát – Brayden Point – Nikita Kucherov
Steven Stamkos – Anthony Cirelli – Tyler Johnson
Alexander Volkov– Cedric Paquette – Alex Killorn
Yanni Gourde – Mitchell Stephens – Carter Verhaeghe
Starting goalie: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Starting goalie: Devan Dubnyk
John Walton will handle play-by-play duties alongside Pierre McGuire at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. Liam McHugh will anchor studio coverage on Thursday with Mike Milbury and Ben Lovejoy.