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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, January 1st (All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (23-12-4) at Vancouver Canucks (23-11-7), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Aiming to avoid a third straight loss, the Tampa Bay Lightning shoot for just their second victory all-time in Vancouver on Wednesday night as they begin a western road trip versus the Canucks.
The Lightning will play their next four games in Western Canada, with contests in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg on tap after tonight's contest. They are 1-8-1 with a pair of ties all-time in Vancouver, picking up that first victory in their last trip there on Dec. 11, 2010.
That was Tampa Bay's second straight victory in this series overall, but Vancouver notched a 5-4 shootout triumph on the road when the clubs last met on Jan. 10, 2012.
The Bolts had a five-game win streak snapped with a shootout loss to Montreal on Saturday, then failed to earn a point the following night in a 4-3 setback to the New York Rangers.
Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Valtteri Filppula scored for the Lightning, while Anders Lindback yielded four goals on 29 shots.
Tampa Bay struggled on the penalty kill, allowing New York to score three times on the power play.
"We gotta get back to pushing the pace and keeping the puck moving forward," said Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis, who had a four-game goal streak snapped. "It just seems like we've lost a little bit of our game."
The Lightning are expected to get healthy during this trip, with forward Ryan Malone and defensemen Eric Brewer and Sami Salo all on pace to return at some point.
Malone has not played since Nov. 22 due to a broken ankle but has been cleared for contact, while Brewer (arm) and Salo (upper body) are skating.
Ben Bishop should get the call in net for the Lightning to begin this road trip and is among the league leaders this season with 20 wins, a 1.89 goals against average, a .935 save percentage and three shutouts. He has never before faced the Canucks.
Vancouver will try to rebound tonight after having a six-game home winning streak halted with Monday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Daniel Sedin was credited with a go-ahead goal with 2:48 to play in regulation when his shot on net was saved by Philadelphia's Steve Mason before hitting off a defender and in.
However, the Flyers got the equalizer with 46.8 seconds on the clock and then notched the lone goal of the shootout.
Making back-to-back starts with Roberto Luongo out with a lower-body injury, Eddie Lack posted 24 saves. He had notched an 18-save shutout the previous night in Calgary and is likely to face the Lightning for the first time tonight.
"I thought we played well enough to win," said Lack, who is 7-2-1 with a 1.84 GAA and two shutouts in 13 games (9 starts) this season. "In the end, it's just very disappointing we couldn't pull it out."
Tom Sestito and Jannik Hansen also scored for the Canucks, who lost for the first time in four games overall.
01/01 10:25:23 ET
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