NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, February 25th (All times eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (32-17-7-5) at Atlanta Thrashers (24-31-6-2), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Southeast Division-leading Tampa Bay Lightning try to put together a winning streak tonight when they visit the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena.
With 76 points, the Lightning are 16 points ahead of second-place Florida in the division, and 20 up on the third-place Thrashers.
On Monday, Martin St. Louis tallied a goal and three assists as the Bolts skated past the Washington Capitals 6-3 at the MCI Center. Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 18 shots for Tampa Bay, which halted a two-game losing streak.
Darryl Sydor, Vincent Lecavalier, Fredrik Modin, Dave Andreychuk and Ruslan Fedotenko also lit the lamp for the Lightning, who won for just the second time in their last 14 trips to Washington.
St. Louis extended his point scoring streak to eight games, and has six goals and 10 assists during that stretch. The diminutive winger has moved into second place in the NHL scoring race, as his 71 points are just two shy of Washington's Robert Lang for the lead.
The Bolts, who have won six of their last nine road games, will host Toronto in a key Eastern Conference matchup on Thursday.
Atlanta, meanwhile, has seen its playoff aspirations dissipate, and it had a two-game winning streak snapped via Saturday's 5-4 overtime loss in Philadelphia. Simon Gagne scored on a penalty shot with 1:01 left in the third period to lift the Flyers.
Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and two assists for Atlanta, which ended a seven- game road swing 3-4.
With the game tied at 4-4 courtesy of Kovalchuk's 100th career goal with just 3:15 elapsed in the third period, Philadelphia seemed to be headed towards overtime until the penalty shot, which was awarded when Atlanta defenseman Andy Sutton released his stick on the ice at Gagne while he was with the puck along the boards.
Gagne responded by skating at Atlanta goalie Pasi Nurminen, drawing the puck across his body to his backhand side and flipping it over the netminder's glove side.
Nurminen finished with 27 saves.
Atlanta, which is 0-3-2 in its last five home tilts, will visit New Jersey on Friday.
The Thrashers and Lightning are 2-2 against each other this season, and the home team is 10-1-3 in the last 14 meetings.
02/25 10:50:07 ET