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Lightning Vs. Capitals Preview: Bolts Look To Help Playoff Chances

Can the Lightning keep knocking back the sliding Capitals? Or is Dwayne Roloson not enough to keep the Lightning's playoff chances alive?

The Tampa Bay Lightning is facing the perfect team to help their playoff chances on Thursday night. The Washington Capitals have lost three straight games at the Verizon Center and look perfectly vulnerable to the Lightning, which trail the Capitals by two points in the standings. Both teams are chasing the Winnipeg Jets for the final spot in the Eastern Conference with about a month left in the season.

Tampa Bay is coming off a rough 7-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday which snapped a four game winning streak. Worse than the loss was the news that goaltender Matheiu Garon was hurt with a slight tear of his groin and will be out three to four weeks. Dwayne Roloson will start in goal for the Lightning Thursday evening. Roloson is 0-1-1 with a 3.87 GAA against the Capitals this season so he will be, along with Steven Stamkos who has scored in each of the last three games against Washington, to keep the Capitals streaking backwards and out of the playoffs.

The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally on NHL Network. If the game is blacked out there, local coverage will be provided on the Sunshine Network.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.