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
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
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
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