Montreal travels to play Kucherov and the Lightning
Tampa, Florida; Thursday, 7 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Nikita Kucherov leads Tampa Bay into a matchup against Montreal. He currently ranks seventh in the NHL with 80 points, scoring 31 goals and recording 49 assists.
The Lightning are 26-11-2 in Eastern Conference games. Tampa Bay leads the league shooting 11.1% and averaging 3.5 goals on 31.2 shots per game.
The Canadiens are 9-11-2 against division opponents. Montreal has converted on 18.5% of power-play opportunities, recording 33 power-play goals.
Tampa Bay took down Montreal 2-1 in the last meeting between these teams on Jan. 2.
TOP PERFORMERS: Kucherov leads the Lightning with 49 assists and has recorded 80 points this season. Steven Stamkos has totaled 7 points over the last 10 games for Tampa Bay.
LAST 10 GAMES: Canadiens: 4-4-2, averaging three goals, 4.2 assists, 3.5 penalties and 8.4 penalty minutes while giving up three goals per game with a .899 save percentage.
Lightning: 5-5-0, averaging three goals, 5.3 assists, five penalties and 12.7 penalty minutes while giving up 3.3 goals per game with a .892 save percentage.
INJURIES: Lightning: Steven Stamkos: out (core muscle).
Canadiens: Jonathan Drouin: day to day (ankle), Tomas Tatar: day to day (upper-body).