Jets look to end Bolts' dominance

The Tampa Bay Lightning try to extend the NHL's longest current winning streak by one team over another when they host the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night.
Andrew Ladd of the Winnipeg Jets, left, celebrates with Blake Wheeler after scoring a game-winning goal against the Philadelphia Flyers. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Lightning are about to get their first look at the Winnipeg Jets since the franchise moved from Atlanta. They probably hope that other than the obvious city and sweater swap, little else has changed about their Southeast Division rivals.

The Lightning look to extend the NHL's longest current winning streak by one team over another when they host the Jets on Saturday night.

Tampa Bay (4-4-2) has outscored the Winnipeg franchise 43-21 in taking 11 straight meetings. The Lightning can match the franchise's longest win streak over a single opponent, which came against Pittsburgh between 2003-07, on Saturday.

The Jets franchise record for consecutive losses to one team is 14, set versus the Penguins from 2000-02 and Philadelphia between 2005-09.

Steven Stamkos has carried Tampa Bay offensively during the winning streak, tallying 13 goals and seven assists. Vincent Lecavalier had four goals and three assists in last season's six-game sweep.

Stamkos had two goals against Nashville on Thursday, giving him six in seven games, but the Lightning lost 5-3 as their three-game win streak came to an end.

Mathieu Garon struggled, stopping 12 of the 17 shots he faced in 32:10. He was replaced by Dwayne Roloson, who turned aside all 10 shots he saw.

"I've got to make some saves," said Garon, who had a 1.33 goals-against average during the three-game run. "If I make a couple of more saves, it's a different game. I've got to be better than that."

It is uncertain who will be in net Saturday, but neither goalie has had any trouble beating the Jets franchise.

Garon, in his first season with Tampa Bay, has posted a 0.80 goals-against average and three shutouts in winning his five career starts against the Winnipeg franchise.

Roloson recorded a 1.44 GAA in winning his two starts against the Thrashers last season, and is 9-0-1 with one tie and a 2.70 GAA in his career versus the franchise. He was expected to be Tampa Bay's No. 1 goaltender this season, but was relegated to a backup role after going 1-2-1 with a 5.11 GAA in his first four starts.

Winnipeg (3-5-1) opened a season-high seven-game road trip with a wild 9-8 victory over Philadelphia on Thursday. The Jets tied the franchise mark for goals in a game set Nov. 12, 2005, against Carolina - a welcome offensive outburst for a team that has managed one goal four times this season.

Andrew Ladd recorded the winner with 1:06 remaining in the third period, becoming ninth Winnipeg player to score against the Flyers.

"We have some things to feel good about," coach Claude Noel said. "The nine goals and the win, but you can't play this way."

The defence obviously must improve, as the Jets have yielded at least four goals in six of the nine games.

Ondrej Pavelec allowed seven goals on 43 shots and was forced to re-enter the game after his backup, Chris Mason, left with an apparent groin injury in the third period. Mason, whose status is uncertain, stopped four of five shots.

Pavelec has been shaky with a 4.19 GAA. He earned the Winnipeg franchise's last win over the Lightning on Oct. 3, 2009, but has been in goal for seven losses in the series since, posting a 2.87 GAA.