NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, March 24th
(All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (44-23-8) at Tampa Bay Lightning (41-30-4), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators try to inch closer to a playoff spot
when they conclude a four-game road swing tonight against the Tampa Bay
Lightning at St. Pete Times Forum.
A win tonight coupled with a loss by the New York Islanders to Philadelphia
today would clinch a playoff berth for the Senators.
Ottawa is fourth overall in the Eastern Conference, 10 points ahead of sixth-
seeded Tampa Bay, and is seven points behind Buffalo for the lead in the
Northeast standings. The Sabres are in Toronto tonight.
Ottawa has won five of its last six overall after besting Florida, 4-2, on
Thursday. Patrick Eaves and Jason Spezza both had a goal and an assist in the
Dany Heatley and Dean McAmmond also lit the lamp while Ray Emery made 35 saves
for the Senators, who have won the last two games of their swing after
dropping the opener to Pittsburgh. Ottawa is 20-12-5 on the road this season
and plays its next two games at home.
The Lightning, meanwhile, have a three-point edge over the Rangers in the East
standings, but are also just two points back of Atlanta, which plays
Pittsburgh today, in the Southeast Division.
Tampa Bay won its second straight game on Thursday with a big 3-1 win over the
New Jersey Devils. Martin St. Louis netted two goals in the final frame, and
Marc Denis made 34 saves. Denis' counterpart in goal, Johan Holmqvist, is
questionable for tonight's game due to the flu.
Vincent Lecavalier picked up an assist in the win and in so doing notched his
500th career point in the NHL.
Tonight's game is the third of a four-game homestand for Tampa Bay. The
Lightning are 20-15-1 as the host on the year and wrap the residency on
Tuesday against Florida.
The Lightning have taken two of their three meetings with the Senators so far
this season, but that string has only ended a recent dominate stretch by
Ottawa. The Senators had swept the season series with the Lightning the past
two seasons, giving them wins in nine of the last 11 meetings.
03/24 11:12:33 ET