LIGHTNING (31-7-2) at KINGS (16-22-3)
10:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN, SN360, FS-W, SUN, NHL.TV
The Tampa Bay Lightning look to extend their NHL season-long point streak to 16 games when they visit the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Thursday.
The Lightning, who have the best record in the NHL, have won six straight games, are 14-0-1 in their past 15 games and have not lost in regulation since a 3-1 defeat against the Anaheim Ducks on Nov. 27. The longest point streak in Tampa Bay history is 18 games (14-0-2 with two ties, Feb. 5-March 12, 2004).
Goalie Jonathan Quick will start for the Kings and will try to become the fifth United States-born goalie to reach 300 wins in the NHL. Quick is two wins behind Mike Richter (301) for the fourth-most NHL wins by a U.S.-born goalie; Ryan Miller and John Vanbiesbrouck share the lead with 374 wins. Tom Barrasso is third with 369.
Los Angeles is 5-2-0 in its past seven games after going 2-6-2 in its previous 10 games.
Players to watch
Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov has 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists) in an 11-game point streak. He needs one point for 400 in the NHL.
Kings center Anze Kopitar is one goal shy of 300 in the NHL and would become the first Slovenia-born player to reach the milestone.
They said it
“I’ve been fortunate to watch his maturation as a player and when he first came in to now. The one thing, it doesn’t come easy when you get the points he’s been getting. You have to work at it.” — Lightning coach Jon Cooper on forward Nikita Kucherov
“The signs of good teams is they just kind of wear you down because they come shift after shift. You might be able to handle one shift or two, but then they put together like 18, 19 in a row and that’s when you get in trouble, so we’ve got to stay good.” — Kings coach Willie Desjardins on the Lightning
Lightning projected lineup
Ondrej Palat — Steven Stamkos — Alex Killorn
Tyler Johnson — Brayden Point — Nikita Kucherov
Adam Erne — Anthony Cirelli — Yanni Gourde
Mathieu Joseph — Cedric Paquette — Ryan Callahan
Victor Hedman — Anton Stralman
Ryan McDonagh — Erik Cernak
Braydon Coburn — Dan Girardi
Scratched: Danick Martel, Mikhail Sergachev
Injured: J.T. Miller (upper body)
Kings projected lineup
Alex Iafallo — Anze Kopitar — Dustin Brown
Brendan Leipsic — Jeff Carter — Ilya Kovalchuk
Nikita Scherbak — Adrian Kempe — Tyler Toffoli
Austin Wagner — Nate Thompson — Matt Luff
Derek Forbort — Drew Doughty
Jake Muzzin — Sean Walker
Dion Phaneuf — Oscar Fantenberg
Scratched: Paul LaDue, Kyle Clifford
Injured: Alec Martinez (upper body), Carl Hagelin (knee), Trevor Lewis (foot), Jonny Brodzinski (shoulder)
The Lightning did not hold a morning skate Thursday. … Martinez skated in practice Thursday but did not take contact and will miss his 12th straight game.
The Lightning have scored at least four goals in eight of their past nine games. … The Kings have scored two goals or fewer in three of their past four games.