NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, March 5th (All times eastern)
New Jersey Devils (34-20-11-1) at Tampa Bay Lightning (37-17-7-5), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning seek their seventh consecutive victory tonight when they welcome the New Jersey Devils to the St. Pete Times Forum.
The Lightning, with 86 points, are part of a three-way jam-up atop the Eastern Conference with Toronto and Philadelphia. Ottawa and Boston, meanwhile, sit just two points back, while the Devils are six off the pace.
On Wednesday, Brad Richards finished with a goal and two assists to lead Tampa Bay to a 5-3 win over Chicago at the United Center. Vincent Lecavalier, Cory Sarich and Ruslan Fedotenko each finished with a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who moved to 10-0-1-2 in their last 13 games.
Nikolai Khabibulin made 27 saves to tie Daren Puppa for most career wins in franchise history (77) for Tampa Bay, which snapped a nine-game winless string against Chicago (1-7-2). Fredrik Modin also scored in the win.
Martin St. Louis and Cory Stillman each added two assists for the Lightning, who improved to 5-0-0 when scoring a shorthanded goal. St. Louis, who leads the league with 10 shorthanded points, owns a 13-game points streak (8g, 15a).
The Bolts will open a three-game road trip Saturday in Florida.
New Jersey, meanwhile, ended a three-game losing skid with Wednesday's 5-2 win at the Panthers. Scott Gomez scored a goal and assisted on four others for a five-point night.
Patrik Elias scored twice and added an assist for New Jersey, while Brian Gionta and Scott Niedermayer also found the back of the net. Martin Brodeur finished with 27 saves and improved to 21-2-3 in his last 26 games against the Panthers.
On the injury front, defenseman Brian Rafalski returned from a knee injury to notch three assists in the victory. He missed only one game with the ailment. Captain Scott Stevens remains out with post-concussion syndrome, and there is no timetable for his return to the lineup.
Jersey, which has lost four of its last six road games, will visit Carolina on Saturday.
Tampa Bay is 2-0 against New Jersey this season, and 3-0-2 in the last five non-playoff meetings.
03/05 10:38:37 ET