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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, October 25th (All times eastern)

San Jose Sharks (6-2-0) at Tampa Bay Lightning (1-2-3), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Dan Boyle makes his return to Tampa Bay tonight, as the San Jose Sharks visit the Lightning and St. Pete Times Forum.

Boyle spent the last five-plus seasons with Tampa Bay and even inked a six- year extension with the club in February. However, with the Lightning rebuilding, they shipped the defenseman and his contract, which included a no- trade clause, to San Jose during the offseason.

Boyle won a Stanley Cup with the Lightning in 2004 and posted 66 goals, 187 assists and 253 points in 394 games with Tampa Bay.

The 32-year-old has two goals and five assists through eight games with the Sharks, posting a helper in last night's 4-3 loss.

Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton and Ryane Clowe each scored once for San Jose, which lost for just the second time this season (6-2-0).

Evgeni Nabokov gave up four goals on 35 shots in the defeat. The Sharks allowed just four goals through their first four games this season, but have yielded 18 in four games since.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay has struggled without Boyle this year, dropping five straight one-goal games (0-2-3) to start the season before Tuesday's 3-2 win over Atlanta in overtime.

Vincent Lecavalier gave head coach Barry Melrose his first win on Tampa's bench when he converted an Martin St. Louis feed into a power-play goal 1:41 into the extra session.

Mark Recchi and Vinny Prospal also scored for Tampa Bay, while Mike Smith was strong with 31 saves. Gary Roberts played in his 1,200th career game on Tuesday, but finished a minus-two.

Tonight could be the debut of defenseman Marek Malik, who signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay on Thursday. The 33-year-old notched two goals, eight assists and 48 penalty minutes in 42 games last year with the Rangers.

However, Radim Vrbata is out due to tightness in his groin, while Jason Ward is questionable due to a strained groin.

The Sharks have won their last two versus the Lightning, including a 4-2 victory in Tampa in the last meeting on October 29, 2006.

10/25 10:30:18 ET


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