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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, January 8th (All times eastern)

Tampa Bay Lightning (16-15-6-1) at Montreal Canadiens (20-15-5-2), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens try to push their unbeaten streak to six games tonight when they welcome the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Bell Centre.

The Habs' latest victory came on Tuesday night as they posted a home win over Buffalo. Pierre Dagenais and Saku Koivu each scored in the first period to lead Montreal to the victory.

Jose Theodore made 34 saves and Mike Ribeiro added a late goal for the Canadiens, who posted their third straight decision and improved to 4-0-1 in their last five.

Koivu has recorded a goal and two assists in the three games since a one-match absence due to a concussion. He has managed seven goals and 16 assists in just 28 games, after missing the early part of the season due to a knee injury.

The Canadiens, who complete their four-game stand tonight, are now unbeaten in the last six at home (5-0-1).

Tampa Bay was dealt a 5-2 setback by the red-hot Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night at the Corel Centre. Marian Hossa had two goals and an assist for Ottawa, while Daniel Alfredsson and Todd White each posted a goal and a helper.

Martin St. Louis and Nolan Pratt scored for the Lightning, who have won just once in their last five games (1-3-1). However, St. Louis has three goals and three assists in his last six contests.

Nikolai Khabibulin had a tough night in net for Tampa Bay, denying just 22- of-27 shots he faced. Khabibulin is 1-3-1 with a 2.38 goals against average in the last five games.

The Lightning, who trail Atlanta by four points for the top spot in the Southeast Division, play the second test of a five-game road trip tonight.

Montreal has won both meetings of the season with the Lighting. The Habs posted a 3-2 home win on December 2 and then grabbed a 5-2 game in Tampa on December 13.

However, the Lightning have won three of five and six of its last 10 in Montreal.

01/08 10:37:09 ET


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