NHL Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning Ready For Rematch Against Washington Capitals

Geoff Burke – USA TODAY Sports

As the Tampa Bay Lightning pass the midpoint of the regular season, a handful of losses still haunt the Lightning from earlier this year. One of those games occurred when Tampa Bay lost a big lead and eventually the game 6-5 to the once division rival Washington Capitals. In the loss, the Lightning allowed superstar Alexander Ovechkin to score four goals and force the game into overtime with just seconds left in regulation.

Thursday night, the Lightning will look to rebound against the Capitals, and they will have to do so without the help of starting goaltender Ben Bishop who resides on injured reserve after spraining his wrist. Although Bishop is expected to return next week, the Lightning will have to rely on stellar goaltending from young backup Anders Lindback.

Although the Lightning and Capitals now play in different divisions, the rivalry continues to heat up and the two teams always play close games. It will be key for the Lightning to control momentum early on in the game as Washington has not played in close to a week. The Capitals have also lost four straight games compiling a record of just 3-4-3 in its last ten games.

The Lightning are coming off a 3-1 Canadian trip and have an overall record of 26-13-4. Tampa Bay will also look to avoid three straight losses at home. With 46 points so far in the Metropolitan Division, the Capitals sit just one point out of a playoff spot, and the Lightning should be prepared for a team looking desperately to end its latest skid.

Connor Akeman is a Tampa Bay Lightning and NHL writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook and join his Google network.