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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Thursday, October 29th (All times eastern)

Ottawa Senators (6-2-2) at Tampa Bay Lightning (3-3-3), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators will try for back-to-back wins tonight when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning for a clash at St. Pete Times Forum.

Ottawa is in the Sunshine State for a two-game trip and notched a close victory Wednesday night against the Florida Panthers. Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson produced a goal and an assist, as Ottawa logged a 4-3 win against the Panthers at BankAtlantic Center.

Jarkko Ruutu wound up with the eventual game-winning goal, while Mike Fisher and Nick Foligno also scored for the Senators, who had lost their previous two contests.

Pascal Leclaire, who had been battling an illness, was given the start in net but lasted only 20 minutes. He allowed one past him on 10 shots and Brian Elliot went the rest of the way, earning the win with 26 saves. Elliot is 2-0 with a 0.98 goals-against average in two career games against the Lightning and is expected to get the start tonight.

"Part way through the period during one of the TV timeouts, (Leclaire) came over and said he was starting to feel dizzy," Ottawa coach Cory Clouston said. "He felt he would be good until the end of the period. He's a gamer, he tried to stay in but by the end of the period, it kept getting progressively worse."

Filip Kuba had two assists and paid immediate dividends for a struggling power play in his return to the ice. It was Kuba's first game since suffering a lower-body injury in Ottawa's season-opener on October 3.

The Sens came into action Wednesday second-to-last in the NHL (4-for-35) with the man advantage. They scored on their only chance Wednesday with Kuba picking up the primary assist.

"I thought we battled hard. It was really hard to get momentum. Each time we killed (a penalty) we gained the momentum back, but the next thing you know we're (back) in the box," added Clouston, whose team provided Florida with seven power-play opportunities.

The Sens are 3-1-0 as the visiting club this year. They'll begin a four-game homestand with Saturday's test against Atlanta.

Tampa Bay, meanwhile, will be seeking some revenge tonight after the Sens recorded a 7-1 blowout win over the visiting Lightning on October 15. Ottawa has taken four straight, five of six and six of the last eight meetings in the series and has also won seven times in its previous 10 trips to Tampa.

The Lightning have lost three of their last four games and are coming off a tough shootout loss Saturday against visiting Buffalo. Drew Stafford evened the game with 16.1 seconds left in regulation and rookie Tyler Myers scored the game-winner in the shootout, as the Sabres charged back for a 3-2 win at the Forum.

The first five shooters for each team were unsuccessful in the shootout, sending it to a sixth round. Tampa's Martin St. Louis skated in backwards and tried a backhander, but Ryan Miller made the glove save. Myers skated in and held the puck as he glided to the left side of the slot. Lightning goaltender Mike Smith bit, and at the last moment Myers shifted the puck around Smith and pushed it into the open net to give Buffalo the victory.

Smith stopped 30 shots, while Vincent Lecavalier and Steven Stamkos had the goals for the Lightning.

Stamkos has been a bright spot for the Lightning so far this season. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft has seven goals and 11 points through nine games this year. Stamkos had 23 goals and 23 assists in a somewhat disappointing rookie campaign last year.

The Lightning are 3-0-2 as the host this year and are playing the third portion of a four-game homestand. The residency ends Saturday afternoon New Jersey.

10/29 10:53:23 ET

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