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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, March 29th (All times eastern)

Ottawa Senators (40-22-10-6) at Tampa Bay Lightning (45-21-8-5), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning, battling for the Presidents' Trophy, seek their fourth consecutive win tonight when they welcome the Ottawa Senators to the St. Pete Times Forum.

With 103 points, the Bolts are tied with the Detroit Red Wings for the overall NHL lead. Tampa, which has already won its second straight Southeast Division title, leads Boston by four points in the Eastern Conference standings.

On Saturday, Vincent Lecavalier scored twice to lead the Lightning over the Washington Capitals, 4-1, in a matchup of teams on opposite sides of the East spectrum.

Fredrik Modin and Brad Richards also scored for the Lightning, who are 14-4-1 in their last 19 games overall. Nikolai Khabibulin made 21 saves in the win.

Winger Martin St. Louis was held scoreless for the second straight game, but still leads the league in scoring with 89 points -- four ahead of Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk and Colorado's Joe Sakic.

Tampa Bay, which has won three straight home games, will host Florida on Thursday before welcoming Atlanta two nights later to finish the regular season.

Ottawa, meanwhile, enters tonight's contest tied with New Jersey for fifth in the Eastern Conference, and the Senators have a game in hand. The Sens trail fourth-place Toronto by just a point, and are three behind Northeast Division- leading Boston.

On Saturday, the Senators and Maple Leafs skated to a 2-2 tie at Air Canada Centre. Bryan McCabe scored midway through the third period to even the score and help Toronto earn the point.

Rob Ray netted his first goal since coming out of retirement and Chris Phillips also tallied for the Senators, who have just one win in their last four games (1-1-1-1).

Martin Prusek made 21 saves for Ottawa, including two in the extra session. Prusek robbed Joe Nieuwendyk, who was alone in front, early in the extra session, just after Marian Hossa failed on a golden opportunity at the other end for the Sens.

The Senators lost goaltender Patrick Lalime early in the contest. Lalime tripped into the net and sprained his left knee after making just two saves. He is expected to miss the next two games.

Ottawa, 2-4-1 in its last seven road games, will visit Florida on Wednesday.

The Senators are 3-0 against the Lightning this season, and 13-2-1 in the last 16 meetings overall.

03/29 10:25:24 ET


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