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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Saturday, March 11th (All times eastern)

Tampa Bay Lightning (33-26-4) at Toronto Maple Leafs (28-28-6), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs hope to spark some momentum tonight when they welcome the Tampa Bay Lightning to Air Canada Centre.

The Leafs have posted points in back-to-back games, but need to garner two as opposed to the one they earned in Friday's shootout loss to the NY Islanders. Toronto sits tied with the Isles for 10th in the Eastern Conference -- seven behind the eighth-place Montreal Canadiens for the final playoff spot.

On Friday, Rick DiPietro stoned all three shooters he faced in the shootout and Miroslav Satan was only player to score as the Islanders defeated the Maple Leafs, 2-1, at Nassau Coliseum.

Bryan McCabe scored the Leafs' lone goal and Ed Belfour stopped 26 shots for Toronto, which has lost six of its last seven contests overall.

The Leafs will host Boston on Tuesday.

Tampa Bay, meanwhile, has dropped four of its last five matches. On Thursday the Lightning lost an 8-5 tilt in Buffalo, as Thomas Vanek netted the game- winning goal and Derek Roy tallied his second hat trick in four games to lift the Sabres.

Brad Richards scored and tallied three assists for the Lightning, while Martin St. Louis and Vaclav Prospal each had a goal and an assist in the loss.

John Grahame started in net for Tampa Bay and allowed five goals on just 16 shots faced. Sean Burke started the third period in relief and stopped four of the six shots he saw.

The Lightning enter Saturday's action seventh in the East with 70 points -- one ahead of eighth-place Montreal.

Tampa will visit the Canadiens on Monday.

The Lightning are 2-1 against the Leafs this season, and 4-1-1 (1 loss, 1 tie) in the last six meetings overall.

03/11 10:34:12 ET

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