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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Sunday, March 21st (All times eastern)

Tampa Bay Lightning (42-20-8-5) at New York Islanders (33-27-10-4), 1 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning try to replenish their lead atop the Eastern Conference today when they visit the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.

Tampa's 5-4 loss to Boston on Saturday, coupled with Philadelphia's win over the NY Rangers drew the Flyers to within a point of the Lightning, who do have a game in hand.

In Saturday's tilt, Michael Nylander scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and added two assists to lead the Bruins over the Lightning. Boston, which leads the Northeast Division, sits just two points behind Tampa Bay in the East.

Fredrik Modin scored twice, and Pavel Kubina and Dave Andreychuk also tallied for Tampa. Nikolai Khabibulin made 25 saves for the Lightning, who have lost three of their last four games (1-3-0).

The Bolts' Martin St. Louis was held scoreless, but he remains the league's scoring leader with 86 points -- two ahead of Colorado's Joe Sakic.

The Lightning, who had a seven-game road unbeaten streak (6-0-1) snapped, will visit Toronto on Tuesday.

New York, meanwhile, sits eighth in the conference race with 80 points -- four ahead of the Buffalo Sabres for the final playoff spot. The Islanders hold a game in hand as well.

On Friday, Jason Blake posted his second career hat trick to lead the Islanders to a 3-1 win over Minnesota at Nassau.

Rick DiPietro made 16 saves for the Islanders, who earned their third straight victory in the series and their third win in the last four games overall.

The diminutive Blake has five goals and four assists during a seven-game point streak that is currently the longest in the NHL.

The Islanders, 1-2-1-1 in their last five home games, will host Washington on Tuesday.

New York is 2-1 against Tampa Bay, a possible playoff opponent, this season, and has taken eight of the last 11 meetings overall.

03/21 10:06:28 ET

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