NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, December 11th
(All times eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (6-14-8) at Montreal Canadiens (16-6-5), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to avoid their longest
losing streak in nearly eight years when they visit the Montreal Canadiens for
tonight's matchup at the Bell Centre.
The Lightning have gone 0-7-2 during a nine-game skid and another setback will
give Tampa its longest losing streak since dropping 10 straight from January
The latest defeat came Wednesday night in Buffalo, as Thomas Vanek scored two
goals, including the game-winner late in the second period, to lead the Sabres
to the 4-2 decision at HSBC Arena. Vanek currently leads the NHL with 22
tallies on the season.
Martin St. Louis and Mark Recchi had the goals for the Lightning, while Mike
Smith made 33 saves in defeat.
The Bolts last earned a victory in a home game against Nashville on November
21. That 4-1 decision over the Predators is the only victory for interim head
coach Rick Tocchet, who is 1-7-4 since taking over for the fired Barry
Lightning forward Ryan Malone missed his third straight game because of an
upper-body injury, while forward Adam Hall was scratched, also for an upper-
body injury. Both players are considered day-to-day and are questionable for
The Lightning are playing the third portion of a four-game road trip, which
they will wrap Saturday in Ottawa. Tampa is just 3-8-3 as the visiting team
this year and has lost eight straight and 10 of its last 11 road tests.
Meanwhile, things have been going well recently for the Canadiens, as they've
won four of their last five games and have registered a point in five straight
Montreal last played on Tuesday night when it handed the visiting Calgary
Flames a decisive loss. Robert Lang scored twice and Jaroslav Halak made 32
saves to lift the Habs to a 4-1 decision at the Bell Centre.
For Halak, it was his first start since November 28 and his first victory
since beating Florida on October 20. No. 1 goaltender Carey Price, who is
13-4-4 this season, is expected to be back between the pipes for the Canadiens
Matt D'Agostini scored his fourth goal in as many games and Andrei Markov also
lit the lamp for the Canadiens, who also earned at least a point for the 10th
time in their last 12 games overall (7-3-2).
Markov also added an assist and has now recorded a point in five straight
games, posting three goals and four assists over that span. The defenseman has
23 points on the season to place him third in the NHL in scoring amongst
The Habs are 9-2-3 at home this season and have won four of their last five
games in Montreal. The club is 4-0-1 on a franchise-record seven-game
homestand that will end Saturday against Washington.
The Canadiens have won three of five, five of eight and eight of the last 12
meetings with the Lightning. Tampa has also dropped three of four and four of
its previous six tests in Montreal.
12/11 10:51:17 ET