NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Wednesday, March 3rd
(All times eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (36-17-7-5) at Chicago Blackhawks (18-33-9-5), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning, seeking their sixth consecutive
victory, hope to sit atop the Eastern Conference tonight after visiting the
Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.
With 84 points, Tampa is tied with Ottawa, Philadelphia and Toronto for the
Eastern Conference lead. Both the Senators and Flyers will be in action
tonight as well.
On Monday, Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 16 shots for his third shutout of the
season and Vincent Lecavalier tallied a goal and an assist, as the
Lightning blanked the Colorado Avalanche, 3-0, at the Pepsi Center.
Khabibulin made five saves in the first period, seven in the second and four
more in the third as he recorded his 35th career shutout.
Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis also scored goals for the Lightning, who
improved to 15-1-1-2 in their last 19 contests.
Lecavalier has five goals in his last five games, while Richards has four
goals in his last four contests. St. Louis, who won his second consecutive NHL
Offensive Player of the Month award, has notched at least a point in 12
straight games (8g, 13a) and trails Detroit's Robert Lang by a single point
for the overall league scoring lead.
The Bolts carry a 19-point Southeast Division lead over second-place Florida
into tonight. Tampa, which set a franchise record with its 18th road win of
the season, will host New Jersey on Friday.
Chicago, meanwhile, is 2-4-2 in its last eight games. Scott Walker and Kimmo
Timonen scored for Nashville and Tyler Arnason and Matt Keith countered for
Chicago, as the Predators and Blackhawks skated to a 2-2 tie at the Gaylord
Entertainment Center on Monday.
Keith fired in the rebound of a shot by Bryan Berard with goalie Tomas Vokoun
on his back to even the score at 2-2 with 1:44 left in the third period. It
was his first NHL goal in five career games -- all this month.
Goaltender Adam Munro made his NHL debut and turned aside 33 shots for
Chicago, which has played to a 2-2 tie in consecutive games. The Hawks
deadlocked Florida on Sunday.
The Blackhawks, who played with nine rookies in the lineup, scored once on
three chances on the power play.
Chicago, with 50 points, holds the worst record in the Western Conference
standings -- two behind Columbus.
The Blackhawks, 1-3-1 in their last five home games, kick off a three-game set
tonight. They'll host Anaheim on Friday.
Chicago is 7-0-2 in the last nine meetings with Tampa Bay, and the Lightning
have lost five straight in the Windy City.
03/03 10:47:54 ET