NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, February 6th
(All times eastern)
Calgary Flames (29-21-8) at Tampa Bay Lightning (24-21-11), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning will aim for a third straight
victory when they welcome the Calgary Flames for tonight's interconference
clash at St. Pete Times Forum.
The Lightning have posted a 5-1-1 record over their last seven games, a
stretch that has pushed Tampa Bay into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
The Bolts currently have 59 points and are tied with Philadelphia for the
East's final two playoff slots.
Calgary is also tied for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference
The Lightning are coming off Thursday's win over the visiting New York
Islanders. Tampa Bay, which is 15-6-6 as the host, notched a 5-2 victory to
open the four-game homestand.
Steven Stamkos continued his impressive sophomore campaign, scoring twice and
adding an assist in Tampa Bay's decisive win over the Isles. The 19-year-old
was taken as the No. 1 selection in 2008 and has accumulated 31 goals and 29
assists through his first 56 games this season. Thirteen of those points (6
goals, 7 assists) have come over an eight-game point streak.
Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and Alex Tanguay each had a goal and an
assist, while Antero Niittymaki made 34 saves.
In other news, the Lightning announced on Friday that a local group headed by
businessman Jeff Vinik has agreed to purchase the hockey club as well as
additional holdings, pending approval by the National Hockey League. Vinik
will act as chairman and sole operator of Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment,
LLC. Vinik will take over for current owners OK Hockey, LLC, which includes
Hollywood producer Oren Koules -- a company that had just taken control of the
team prior to the 2008-09 season.
Calgary, meanwhile, has won its last two games and has taken three of four
since losing nine in a row from January 11-28. The Flames posted a 4-1 home
win over Carolina on Wednesday and edged the Panthers in Florida on Friday.
Mark Giordano's power-play goal late in the second period was the difference,
as the Flames edged the Panthers, 2-1, at BankAtlantic Center.
Ales Kotalik also scored on the man advantage, while Miikka Kiprusoff stopped
12-of-13 shots for the Flames. Calgary hadn't won consecutive games since a
five-game streak from December 28-January 5.
The Flames' Jarome Iginla played in his 1,000th career game, while teammate
Daymond Langkow skated in his 999th.
Calgary is playing the middle test of a three-game road trip tonight and is
15-8-5 as the guest this year. The Flames will complete the swing Tuesday in
Tonight's test marks the fourth meeting between the Flames and Lightning since
Tampa ousted Calgary in seven games during the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals. The
clubs have combined for 29 goals in the last two encounters with the Bolts
claiming an 8-6 win last year in Calgary and the Flames posting a 9-6 decision
the previous season in Tampa.
Tampa Bay has taken three of four and five of the last seven regular-season
meetings overall, but Calgary has won three out of five at the Forum.
02/06 11:04:42 ET