NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, December 17th
(All times eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (13-16-2) at Columbus Blue Jackets (9-18-4), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to post consecutive wins
for the first time in three weeks when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets
tonight at Nationwide Arena.
The Lightning last won two in a row during a home-and-home sweep of the
Florida Panthers on Nov. 25-26. Tampa Bay has just two wins in nine games
since, but the Bolts were able to record an overtime victory Thursday against
Steven Stamkos scored the game-winner 30 seconds into overtime, lifting the
Lightning to a 5-4 win over the Flames.
Tampa Bay wasted a two-goal lead in the third period, but tic-tac-toe passing
between the trio of Steve Downie, Eric Brewer and Stamkos early in the extra
session resulted in the latter re-directing Brewer's cross-ice feed into the
back of the net.
"When you're struggling to get wins, you take them any way you can get them,"
said Stamkos, whose club had lost seven of eight coming in. "Hopefully this is
the start of something good."
Stamkos has three goals and five points over his last two games and is tied
for the NHL lead with 19 goals on the season.
Tom Pyatt, Ryan Malone and Nate Thompson each scored in the second period to
give the Lightning a 4-2 lead, only to have Rene Bourque and Olli Jokinen
score in the third period to salvage a point for Calgary. Mathieu Garon earned
the win for Tampa with a 23-save effort.
Tonight's tilt marks the start of a three-game road trip for the Lightning,
who are just 5-11-2 as the visiting team this season.
Columbus, which is last in the NHL with 22 points, has lost three of its last
four games to post a 1-2-1 record during a five-game homestand that ends
tonight. Overall, the Blue Jackets are 6-9-2 as the host this season.
The Blue Jackets last played on Thursday, when they were dealt a 2-1
regulation loss by the Los Angeles Kings. Dustin Brown scored the go-ahead
goal near the midway mark of the third period to lift LA to the victory.
Jeff Carter lit the lamp for a fourth consecutive contest for the Blue
Jackets, while Curtis Sanford turned aside 39-of-41 shots in defeat.
Carter has seven goals in 20 games in his first season with the Blue Jackets.
The former Philadelphia Flyer has scored 14 times in 24 career games against
Blue Jackets forward Derek Dorsett could play tonight after sitting out the
last two games with a lower body injury.
Tampa Bay has won two of three and three of its last five meetings with the
Blue Jackets. Columbus has won the last two matchups on home ice and is 3-1
with a tie in the five all-time encounters at Nationwide Arena.
12/17 10:33:40 ET