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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, December 21st (All times eastern)

Tampa Bay Lightning (12-14-9) at New York Islanders (13-16-7), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to post consecutive wins for the first time in over a month when they visit the struggling New York Islanders tonight at Nassau Coliseum.

The Lightning and Islanders, who are both near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings with 33 points, have combined for just five wins in the month of December.

Tampa Bay had lost a season-high six straight games before exploding for a 6-3 triumph Friday night in St. Louis. Jeff Halpern and Steven Stamkos both scored twice as the Lightning won for just the second time in 12 games. The Lightning haven't won two in a row since beating Montreal and Minnesota on November 7 and 12, respectively.

Martin St. Louis added a goal and two assists while Kurtis Foster also tallied for the Lightning, who also posted their first road victory since November 22 at Atlanta. Antero Niittymaki stopped 23 shots for the win.

"It's a step in the right direction," Halpern said. "We have a long way to go. It's fun to win, it's just whether we can do it consistently now."

Tonight marks the final stop on a season-high, six-game road trip for the Tampa, which has a poor 5-10-5 record as the guest this year. The Bolts will return to Tampa for a five-game homestand, beginning with Wednesday's test against Philadelphia.

The Isles come into tonight having dropped two straight, three of four and six of their last eight games. New York hosted Montreal on Saturday and was handed a shutout loss by the Canadiens as Jaroslav Halak turned aside 40 shots in the 3-0 win for the Habs.

Jack Hillen had a team-high five shots for the Isles and Martin Biron allowed three goals on 28 shots in defeat.

"We work really hard, and we work hard at killing penalties, and right now it's just sticking the wrong way, over-pursuing, it's just -- I don't know," Biron said.

The Isles, who will cap a four-game homestand Wednesday against Toronto, are just 7-6-2 as the host this year. New York has lost its last three games on Long Island.

The Lightning slammed the Isles, 4-0, when the clubs met December 5 in Tampa, but New York has still won six out of nine in this series. Tampa has also dropped four straight at the Coliseum.

12/21 11:12:33 ET

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