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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, November 29th (All times eastern)

Tampa Bay Lightning (6-9-7) at Colorado Avalanche (10-12-0), 9 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning will try for just their second win in the seventh game since the firing of head coach Barry Melrose when they visit the Colorado Avalanche for tonight's matchup at the Pepsi Center.

The Lightning axed Melrose after a loss to Detroit on November 13 and are 1-2-3 under interim head coach Rick Tocchet. Tampa has lost eight of nine and 10 of its last 12 contests overall.

Tampa Bay's third straight setback came Friday afternoon in Minnesota, as Mikko Koivu scored the go-ahead goal in the third period to lift the Wild to a 4-2 victory.

Radim Vrbata and Ryan Malone accounted for the Tampa Bay goals, while Mike Smith made 29 saves in the loss.

Vincent Lecavalier added an assist to push his point streak to six games. Tampa's captain has three goals and four helpers during the run.

Tonight's test marks the middle portion of a three-game road trip for the Lightning, who are 3-5-2 as the visiting club this year and have lost four straight and six of seven away from Tampa. The Bolts will complete their current swing Tuesday night in Philadelphia.

The Avalanche have lost two of three and four of their last six games and were edged in Phoenix on Friday afternoon. Mikael Tellqvist made 37 saves to help lead the Coyotes to the 2-1 decision at Jobing.com Arena.

Ryan Smyth scored the lone goal while Peter Budaj gave up two goals on 20 shots for the Avalanche. Smyth's goal, which came early in the third period, was his second tally in as many games.

The Avalanche are 5-5-0 as the host this year and have won two of their last three in Denver.

Colorado has won two straight and three of the last four encounters with the Lightning. Tampa Bay is just 1-4 with a tie in its previous six stops at the Pepsi Center.

11/29 10:59:16 ET


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