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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Tuesday, February 2nd (All times eastern)

Tampa Bay Lightning (22-21-11) at Atlanta Thrashers (24-22-8), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to avoid a three-game losing streak when they visit the Atlanta Thrashers for tonight's Southeast Division clash at Philips Arena.

The Lightning, who are one point behind Atlanta for third place in the Southeast standings, have dropped two in a row on the heels of a three-game winning streak. Despite being tied for 11th in the Eastern Conference, Tampa Bay is just two points out of a playoff spot.

Tampa Bay lost a shootout decision to visiting Anaheim on Friday and were then dealt a 3-2 regulation setback Sunday in Washington. Alex Ovechkin scored the game-winner in the third period to lead the Capitals to their 10th straight victory.

Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, while Mike Smith stopped 28 shots in the loss.

"We played hard but their best player won the game for them," said Tampa Bay head coach Rick Tocchet. "That's what good players do in big situations. When you play an excellent team you have to be error-free and we made a few blunders in our own zone that they capitalized on."

Stamkos has been hot lately with four goals and five assists during a six-game point streak. The second-year centerman is leading Tampa with 29 goals this year.

The Lightning are 8-15-5 as the visiting team this year and are closing out a brief two-game road trip tonight.

Atlanta had a two-game winning streak halted its last time out, dropping a 4-3 decision in Nashville on Saturday. Jason Arnott's goal seven seconds into the third period proved to be the difference for the Predators.

Bryan Little scored twice, and Chris Thorburn also tallied for the Thrashers, who were looking for their first three-game win streak since a four-game stretch from November 25-30.

Nik Antropov had two helpers, and Johan Hedberg allowed four goals on 31 shots in defeat.

Atlanta, which is 12-9-4 as the host this year, will play four of its next five games on the road.

Tampa Bay has won three of four meetings against the Thrashers this year, but Atlanta has taken five of nine overall. The Bolts have lost eight of their last 10 in Atlanta.

02/02 10:46:38 ET

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