(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning aim to keep hold of first place in the Atlantic Division and extend their longest home winning streak in franchise history on Saturday night as they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Lightning were handed only their third loss in nine games with a 4-2 setback at Carolina on Tuesday, but returned home to roll past the Detroit Red Wings 5-1 on Thursday. It was Tampa Bay's ninth straight win at home and improved the club to 20-4-1 at Amalie Arena on the season.
The Bolts have not lost at home since Dec. 9 versus Washington.
Rookie Cedric Paquette led the rout of Detroit with his first career hat trick, giving him nine goals in 40 career games, while Steven Stamkos and Mark Barberio also scored. Jonathan Drouin and Alex Killorn added two assists each.
"It never gets old watching those hats go over the wall," Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper said of Paquette's hat trick. "He earned every one."
Ben Bishop posted 27 saves for the Lightning, who with 66 points are one ahead of both Montreal and Detroit for first place in the division. The Canadiens and Red Wings are both in action at home on Saturday afternoon.
Columbus, meanwhile, was defeated 3-2 by Florida on Thursday, snapping a 10- game winning streak over the Panthers with a sixth loss in nine games overall.
Defenseman Jack Johnson and rookie Alexander Wennberg had second-period goals, while Curtis McElhinney made 28 saves.
"I thought we had some energy and some jump ... we gave ourselves an opportunity," McElhinney said.
Columbus has been hit hard with injuries all season along and still remains without Nathan Horton and Boone Jenner while recently losing No. 1 goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. However, forward Artem Anisimov returned to action on Thursday after missing 23 games in a row with a torn triceps, while defenseman Ryan Murray could be back in the lineup tonight.
Murray, the second overall pick of the 2012 draft, has been held to just four games this season due to injury. He sat out the first seven contests while recovering from knee surgery, then experienced a setback in early November and has missed the last 36 contests.
The Jackets and Bolts have split the first two of three meetings this season. Tampa Bay recorded a 7-4 win in Columbus on Nov. 8, getting goals from six different players, but the Blue Jackets came back with a 3-1 road win on Dec. 6.
That was only Columbus' second victory all-time at Tampa (2-5-2).
Bishop is 1-2-0 with a 1.77 goals against average and a .918 save percentage in three meetings (2 starts) with the Jackets, while McElhinney is 2-4-0 with a 2.68 GAA and .916 save percentage in seven games (4 starts) versus the Bolts.