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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, November 16th (All times eastern)

Washington Capitals (6-11-1) at Tampa Bay Lightning (9-8-1), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning will shoot for their fifth consecutive victory tonight, when they open the doors of St. Pete Times Forum for the lowly Washington Capitals.

The Lightning began the year with a 5-8-1 mark before turning things around with the current winning streak, which is the longest for the club since another four-game stretch from January 30-February 6 of last season.

Tampa Bay has been dominant during its recent run, outscoring its last four opponents by a 19-5 score. The Lightning notched a blowout win in their most recent trip to the ice, as they pounded the visiting Carolina Hurricanes, 6-1, on Wednesday night.

Vincent Lecavalier picked up his fifth career hat trick and also donated a pair of assists to carry the Lightning to the easy win over the 'Canes.

Lecavalier became the first member of the Lightning to record six straight multi-point games and tied a franchise high with four points in one period. The last player to record seven straight multi-point games was Mario Lemieux, who achieved the feat during the 2002-03 season.

Martin St. Louis had a goal and two assists in a winning effort, while Johan Holmqvist made 26 saves for Tampa Bay.

The Lightning, who are an impressive 7-1-1 as the host this season, are playing the second of two straight on home ice tonight.

Washington, meanwhile, has been on a downward spiral after opening the season with three straight wins. The Capitals are 6-11-1 on the year and have dropped two straight, six of seven and 12 of their last 15 games.

The Capitals' latest setback came Thursday night in Florida. Tomas Vokoun made 26 saves and Kamil Kreps scored what proved to be the game-winning goal as the Panthers edged the Caps, 2-1, at BankAtlantic Center.

Alex Ovechkin had the only Washington goal and Olaf Kolzig finished with 23 saves in defeat.

The Caps and Lightning have split a pair of meetings this season, but tonight's test is the first matchup in Tampa. The Lightning have taken six of the last eight overall encounters in the series and have been victorious in three straight and eight of their last 10 home tilts with Washington.

11/16 10:46:40 ET


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