National Hockey League
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      ***** National Hockey League Previews from The Sports Network *****
                              Saturday, January 31
                              (All times Eastern)
 
 
 WASHINGTON CAPITALS (25-14-9) AT MONTREAL CANADIENS (31-13-3), 1 P.M.
 
 (SportsNetwork.com) - The red-hot Montreal Canadiens hope to post a fifth
 straight victory when they begin a four-game homestand with Saturday's matinee
 battle against the Washington Capitals.
 
 The Canadiens picked up a fourth consecutive win Thursday, edging the New York
 Rangers 1-0 at Madison Square Garden. All-Star goaltender Carey Price made 24
 saves to record the win in his third shutout of the season.
 
 The victory pushed Montreal into a tie with Detroit for second place in the
 Atlantic and also leaves the Habs one point shy of Tampa Bay for the division
 lead. The Lightning recorded a 5-1 blowout win over the Red Wings on Thursday.
 
 Max Pacioretty scored the lone goal for the Habs on Thursday, tallying his
 team-leading 22nd goal of the season with 4:17 left in the third. Pacioretty
 snapped a shot from above the right circle through the legs of Rangers captain
 Ryan McDonagh and past Henrik Lundqvist for the game's only score.
 
 "The guys played very well, we got pretty lucky out there a few times. That's
 part of the game," Price said.
 
 Montreal went 3-0 on a recent three-game homestand from Jan. 17-27 before
 picking up the road win in the Big Apple. The Habs own a 16-5-2 mark at the
 Bell Centre this season and they will continue this homestand tomorrow
 afternoon against Arizona.
 
 While Sunday's starter is unknown for Montreal, Price will get the call today
 and he is 4-9-3 with a 3.24 goals against average in his career against
 Washington.
 
 Backup Dustin Tokarski notched a victory against the Caps in the only meeting
 between the clubs this season, making 29 saves in a 2-1 shootout win in D.C.
 on Oct. 9. Despite that setback, Washington has claimed 10 of the past 13
 games in this series overall and has won seven in a row at the Bell Centre.
 
 Washington halted a four-game slide its last time out, posting a 4-0 win over
 visiting Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
 
 Alex Ovechkin scored twice and Braden Holtby posted his fifth shutout of the
 season to help the Caps down the Penguins. Ovechkin, a four-time winner of the
 Rocket Richard Trophy, has an NHL-best 29 goals this season.
 
 The Russian winger is one goal shy of becoming the fifth player in NHL history
 to record at least 30 goals in each of his first 10 seasons. The other four
 are Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Jari Kurri and Mike Gartner.
 
 Mike Green tallied a goal and an assist, Eric Fehr also scored and Nicklas
 Backstrom supplied two assists to help Washington pick up its first win since
 beating Philadelphia 1-0 on Jan. 14.
 
 "We stayed diligent. We kept pushing the pace. We kept just hounding the
 puck," Washington head coach Barry Trotz said. "I thought we just had more
 determination in our game. We actually just made sure we weren't going to be
 outworked."
 
 Holtby made 27 saves to earn his 16th career shutout. He is 5-0-1 with a .98
 goals against average in his career against Montreal, while backup Justin
 Peters is 0-2-0 with a 4.22 GAA in three lifetime appearances versus the Habs.
 
 Trotz could use both of his goaltenders this weekend, as Washington is
 scheduled to host the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.
 
 
 NEW YORK ISLANDERS (32-15-1) AT DETROIT RED WINGS (28-12-9), 2 P.M.
 
 (SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Red Wings and New York Islanders will both
 try to put rough losses behind them when the Eastern Conference foes meet
 Saturday afternoon in the Motor City.
 
 Detroit hosts today's matinee after having a season-high six-game winning
 streak snapped with Thursday's 5-1 loss in Tampa Bay. The Red Wings entered
 the Atlantic Division showdown with a one-point lead over the Lightning for
 first place, but the Bolts claimed the top spot with the regulation win.
 
 Montreal also picked up two points with Thursday's road win over the New York
 Rangers to forge a tie with Detroit for second place in the Atlantic. The
 Canadiens, who have two games in hand over the Red Wings, host Washington this
 afternoon, while Tampa welcomes Columbus on Saturday night.
 
 The Red Wings were torched for three goals by the Lightning's Cedric Paquette,
 who notched his first career hat trick to power Tampa to the easy win.
 
 Darren Helm supplied the Red Wings' lone goal. Petr Mrazek allowed five goals
 on 15 shots, while Tom McCollum stopped all 17 shots he faced in the third
 period.
 
 "We just had a good run here, won six in a row," Detroit head coach Mike
 Babcock said. "We got spanked here tonight."
 
 Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk is slated to play in his 863rd career game
 today, moving him past Ted Lindsay for sole possession of 12th place in
 Detroit history.
 
 The Islanders lost for only the second time in eight games Thursday when they
 were handed a 5-2 setback by the visiting Boston Bruins.
 
 New York fell behind 2-0 in the first period before evening the score on
 second-period goals from John Tavares and Michael Grabner. However, Boston's
 Kevan Miller tallied the game-winner with just 3.4 seconds remaining in the
 middle stanza and the Bruins added to their cushion in the third period.
 
 "We didn't play a 60-minute game, but I thought we played well enough to win
 the game," said Islanders coach Jack Capuano. "Obviously, the third goal was
 the turning point."
 
 Jaroslav Halak allowed four goals on 32 shots for the Isles, who lead
 Pittsburgh by only one point for first place in the Metropolitan Division.
 
 Halak is expected to start today and is 5-4-1 with a 3.22 goals against
 average in his career against the Red Wings. He stopped 17-of-18 shots to
 record the win in a 2-1 regulation victory at Detroit on Dec. 19.
 
 The Isles have won two straight and seven of their last eight games against
 Detroit overall and the Red Wings have dropped five straight at home in this
 series.
 
 
 ARIZONA COYOTES (17-25-6) AT OTTAWA SENATORS (19-19-9), 3 P.M.
 
 (SportsNetwork.com) - The Arizona Coyotes hope to build off their first
 victory in weeks when they visit the Ottawa Senators for Saturday's matinee
 clash at Canadian Tire Centre.
 
 The Coyotes entered Thursday's game in Toronto mired in an 0-5-2 slump, but
 they notched a 3-1 comeback victory for their first win since a 4-1 home
 triumph against Winnipeg on Jan. 8.
 
 Arizona trailed the Maple Leafs 1-0 after two periods, but Oliver Ekman-
 Larsson scored a short-handed goal just five seconds into the third period to
 kindle a rally. Ekman-Larsson's goal, which tied a franchise record for
 quickest to open a period, came from beyond center ice after Lauri Korpikoski
 won the faceoff.
 
 Martin Hanzal netted the go-ahead goal 3:42 later and Sam Gagner scored on a
 power play later in the period as Arizona ended its seven-game slide while
 sending Toronto to its eighth straight loss.
 
 "After the second period we thought we deserved a better fate in the game,"
 said Coyotes Dave Tippett. "We had created a lot of chances."
 
 Mike Smith had 24 saves in the win, which also stopped a five-game road losing
 streak for the Coyotes, who are in the midst of an eight-game trek. It was
 their first win away from home since Dec. 23 in Edmonton.
 
 The Coyotes, who are just 8-13-3 away from home, will visit Montreal tomorrow
 before completing the swing Tuesday in Columbus.
 
 Ottawa has lost three of its last four games and is coming off Thursday's 6-3
 setback against former Senators captain Jason Spezza and his Dallas Stars.
 
 Thursday's game was closer than the final score made it seem, as Ottawa
 rallied from down 3-0 to even the contest by the early stages of the third
 period. John Klingberg snapped the tie for Dallas in the latter stages of the
 third period before Trevor Daley and Jamie Benn added empty-net markers to
 arrive at the final margin.
 
 Mika Zibanejad, Bobby Ryan and Alex Chiasson scored once each for the
 Senators, who have lost seven of their last 10. Robin Lehner allowed four
 goals on 39 shots in the setback.
 
 "We weren't competitive enough, we weren't detailed enough," Ottawa coach Dave
 Cameron said.
 
 Although his team picked up a victory, Spezza failed to reach the scoresheet
 as he returned to Ottawa for the first time since requesting a trade from the
 Senators last summer. Spezza, who registered four shots on goal in 16:17 of
 ice time, was booed the first time he touched the puck, but the Canadian Tire
 Centre crowd cheered a tribute shown on the video board shortly after.
 
 With Craig Anderson on injured reserve with a bruised hand, Lehner will start
 again today. Lehner is 2-4-1 with a 3.28 goals against average in seven
 career outings against Arizona.
 
 The Sens are closing a three-game homestand this afternoon and are 10-7-4 as
 the host this season.
 
 Arizona and the Senators each have three wins in the last six meetings in this
 series, but Ottawa has claimed 11 of the past 15 encounters. The Coyotes had
 lost six straight -- all in regulation -- on the road in this matchup before
 posting an overtime win in Ottawa on Dec. 21, 2013.
 
 
 LOS ANGELES KINGS (21-15-12) AT BOSTON BRUINS (26-16-7), 7 P.M.
 
 (SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Kings will aim for their first set of
 consecutive wins in over a month when they visit the Boston Bruins for
 Saturday's evening showdown at TD Garden.
 
 The defending Stanley Cup champions halted a four-game slide (0-2-2) with
 Wednesday's close win over visiting Chicago and they hope to keep it going
 today in Beantown. Los Angeles, however, hasn't put together two wins in a row
 since notching consecutive home victories against St. Louis and Arizona on
 Dec. 18 and 20, respectively.
 
 L.A., which is one point behind Calgary for the last playoff spot in the West,
 also will try to get off to a positive start on its five-game road trip. The
 Kings enter Saturday's road tilt with a poor 5-9-6 mark as the guest compared
 to a 16-6-6 record at home.
 
 Los Angeles has 38 points at home this season, tying the 1980-81 and 1990-91
 teams for the most points through 28 home games in franchise history.
 
 The Kings earned their 16th home win of 2014-15 with a 4-3 triumph over the
 Blackhawks, who lost in seven games to L.A. in last spring's battle for the
 Western Conference title.
 
 Jake Muzzin scored the game-winning goal with 3:37 to play, helping the Kings
 overcome several one-goal deficits to record the regulation win. L.A. trailed
 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 before eclipsing the Hawks.
 
 Tyler Toffoli returned to the lineup after a six-game absence due to
 mononucleosis and delivered the tying goal just 2:34 before Muzzin scored the
 game-winner.
 
 Jeff Carter finished with two goals and an assist for the Kings, while
 Jonathan Quick stopped 26-of-29 shots in the win.
 
 "It was huge," Toffoli said. "It was the last game at home for a while, and
 playing against a really good team like Chicago. I think we played really well
 tonight."
 
 After today's tilt, L.A. is idle until visiting Washington on Tuesday. The
 Kings won't play their next home test until hosting Calgary on Feb. 12.
 
 The Bruins enter Saturday having posted a 7-1-1 record over their last nine
 games and Boston recently wrapped a three-game road trip with a win on Long
 Island.
 
 Boston capped a 2-0-1 swing with Thursday's 5-2 rout of the New York
 Islanders. Milan Lucic and Reilly Smith tallied three points each, while
 Tuukka Rask made 43 saves to anchor the victory at Nassau Coliseum.
 
 Lucic and Smith each had a goal and two assists for Boston. Patrice Bergeron,
 Kevan Miller and Torey Krug also hit the net.
 
 Boston led 2-0 in the first period before allowing the Isles to even the score
 on second-period goals from John Tavares and Michael Grabner. However, Miller
 tallied the game-winner with just 3.4 seconds remaining in the middle stanza
 and the Bruins added to their cushion in the third period with goals from Krug
 and Lucic.
 
 "In the third period, we found that game again that was so good for us in the
 first," said Bruins coach Claude Julien.
 
 Boston will try to avoid getting swept in the two-game season series against
 L.A. The Kings recorded a 2-0 home win over the B's on Dec. 2 with Quick
 making 31 saves for the shutout.
 
 The Bruins have lost two of three and seven of their last 10 overall
 encounters with the Kings, but Boston has taken the last two meetings at TD
 Garden.
 
 Quick boasts a 7-3-0 career mark against Boston with a 2.04 goals against
 average. Rask is 1-1-0 with a 2.20 GAA in two lifetime appearance in this
 matchup.
 
 The Bruins recalled goaltender Malcolm Subban from Providence of the American
 Hockey League on Friday and sent Rask's regular backup Niklas Svedberg to the
 AHL squad for conditioning.
 
 Subban, younger brother of Montreal star defenseman P.K. Subban, was the 24th
 overall pick of the 2013 NHL draft. He has never played at the NHL level and
 this marks his first call-up to the Bruins.
 
 
 FLORIDA PANTHERS (21-15-10) AT NEW JERSEY DEVILS (18-22-9), 7 P.M.
 
 (SportsNetwork.com) - The Florida Panthers will attempt to get their playoff
 chances back on track Saturday evening as they visit the New Jersey Devils.
 
 The Panthers halted a season-high five-game skid with Thursday's 3-2 win over
 the Columbus Blue Jackets. It also brought a 10-game skid versus Columbus to
 an end as well as a six-game losing streak at home.
 
 Sean Bergenheim played slump-buster by potting the game-winning goal with 6:52
 left to play. He deflected a wrister from Dmitry Kulikov into the net right
 before taking a stick to the face by the Blue Jackets' Jack Johnson.
 
 "Lucky I got the puck first, then I took the stick on the mouth," Bergenheim
 said.
 
 Jonathan Huberdeau and rookie Aaron Ekblad both scored in the second period
 for the Panthers, who got 30 saves from Roberto Luongo. Aleksander Barkov,
 coming off a three-point game, had an assist to give him 10 points in his past
 10 contests.
 
 Florida's recent skid has put it six points behind the New York Rangers for
 the Eastern Conference's second wild card spot.
 
 The Panthers hope to rebound tonight, but the Devils have won four of the past
 five encounters overall. That includes a 5-1 victory in Florida back on Oct.
 11.
 
 New Jersey has won four in a row at home in this series.
 
 Luongo is 10-14-0 in his career versus the Devils, posting a 2.93 goals
 against average, .912 save percentage and three shutouts in 24 meetings.
 
 The Devils were aiming for a third victory in a row last night in a matchup
 with the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins, but collapsed late in a 2-1 overtime
 setback.
 
 Peter Harrold took a late high-sticking penalty in the third period and the
 Pens cashed in to tie the game with 3:11 on the clock before Simon Despres won
 it with 2:39 remaining in overtime. He used a screen to beat Devils netminder
 Cory Schneider.
 
 "No penalty at that time is a good penalty. It gave them life. Couldn't afford
 to do that," said Harrold.
 
 Steve Bernier scored in the loss and Schneider made a season-high 41 saves in
 his league-leading 43rd start.
 
 Keith Kinkaid is expected to start in net tonight and has never before faced
 the Panthers. Kinkaid is 1-3-3 on the season in nine games (5 starts) with a
 2.54 goals against average and .913 save percentage.
 
 
 CAROLINA HURRICANES (17-25-6) AT NEW YORK RANGERS (27-15-4), 7 P.M.
 
 (SportsNetwork.com) - Having struggled offensively in back-to-back games
 following the All-Star break, the New York Rangers try to avoid their longest
 skid in over two months on Saturday night as they host the Carolina
 Hurricanes.
 
 The Rangers put together a 16-3-0 mark over 19 games leading up to the All-
 Star break, but followed the hiatus with a 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders
 two days prior to Thursday's 1-0 setback to the Montreal Canadiens.
 
 Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves versus the Habs in the opener of a four-game
 homestand and did not allow the only goal of the game until there was 4:17
 left. He was finally solved by the Habs when Max Pacioretty snapped a shot
 through the legs of Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh.
 
 "It's tough for any goalie to pick up a shot like that with a quick release
 and a little bit of a screen by myself," McDonagh said.
 
 New York now tries to avoid losing three in a row for the first time since an
 0-1-2 slide from Nov. 13-17. The Blueshirts haven't lost three in a row in
 regulation since Oct. 11-14.
 
 The Rangers do draw a favorable matchup as they have won four straight and 14
 of their last 15 meetings with the Hurricanes. That includes a sweep of a
 home-and-home series on Dec. 20-21, capped with a 1-0 triumph in New York.
 
 The Blueshirts have won eight in a row at home in this series as backup Cam
 Talbot made 18 saves and McDonagh scored in the first period.
 
 New York has not lost at home to Carolina since Oct. 29, 2010 and Lundqvist is
 19-9-1 versus the Hurricanes with a 2.13 goals against average and .924 save
 percentage in 29 meetings.
 
 Anton Khudobin made 30 saves in the recent setback to the Rangers.
 
 Khudobin had a rough go of things last night for the Hurricanes, getting
 lifted early in a 3-2 shootout loss as he yielded two goals on three shots.
 Cam Ward halted all 29 shots he faced through overtime in relief as Carolina
 rallied to get a point.
 
 "The goalie change was more just to slow their momentum down," said Carolina
 head coach Bill Peters. "It's obviously not a reflection of the goaltender,
 but we didn't start on time, that's for sure."
 
 Justin Faulk and Ryan Murphy lit the lamp for the Hurricanes, who had a three-
 game winning streak snapped. Ward gave up the only goal of the shootout, beat
 by defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk in the second round.
 
 Carolina begins a four-game road trip tonight and Ward figures to get the
 start. He is 10-12-4 versus the Rangers in 27 meetings, posting a 2.44 GAA,
 .924 save percentage and two shutouts.
 
 
 TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (22-24-4) AT PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (21-22-7), 7 P.M.
 
 (SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Flyers will try to extend a perfect
 start to a five-game homestand when they host the sliding Toronto Maple Leafs
 in Saturday's battle at Wells Fargo Center.
 
 The Flyers have matched a season-high winning streak by going 3-0 to begin
 this stay in South Philadelphia. Craig Berube's club picked up its most recent
 win with Thursday's 5-2 decision over the Winnipeg Jets.
 
 Nick Schultz picked up the game-winner in the second period against the Jets,
 while Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier scored in the third to help Philly
 improve to 14-7-3 as the host.
 
 Wayne Simmonds and Chris VandeVelde also scored for the Flyers, winners of
 four of their last five.
 
 Schultz's goal was his first marker since he tallied for Edmonton back on
 April 8, 2013. The defenseman's score on Thursday snapped a 2-2 tie and halted
 his goal drought at 125 games.
 
 In his first start since Jan. 8, Steve Mason picked up his second straight
 positive result thanks to 36 saves. Mason made his return from a lower-body
 injury with a victory in relief of starter Ray Emery on Tuesday against
 Arizona.
 
 "I feel really good. The injury hasn't been a problem which is great," Mason
 said of his knee issue which kept him sidelined for more than two weeks. "More
 importantly I thought my game felt sharper than last night or the night before
 rather, which is obviously a positive sign as well."
 
 Flyers forward Michael Raffl sat out Thursday with an illness and is
 questionable for tonight.
 
 After this evening's game, the Flyers are off until completing this homestand
 with Thursday's game against the New York Islanders.
 
 Toronto is mired in an eight-game losing streak and the club suffered its
 seventh regulation defeat of the slide on Thursday despite carrying a 1-0 lead
 into the third period against visiting Arizona.
 
 The Coyotes used a three-goal third period to halt a seven-game slide of their
 own and drop Toronto to 0-7-1 over its last eight. Arizona's Oliver Ekman-
 Larsson scored a short-handed goal five seconds into the third period to tie
 the game and kindle the game-winning rally.
 
 Martin Hanzal netted the go-ahead goal for the Coyotes 3:42 after Ekman-
 Larsson scored and Sam Gagner added a power-play marker to pad the cushion.
 
 Phil Kessel scored in the first period for the Maple Leafs, who are 3-15-1 in
 their last 19 outings and 1-8-1 since Peter Horachek took over for fired head
 coach Randy Carlyle on an interim basis.
 
 The Coyotes peppered Jonathan Bernier, who stopped 32 shots in two periods but
 allowed three goals on 13 in the third. Bernier fell to 0-5-1 over his last
 six starts and allowed three goals or more for the fourth time during that
 span.
 
 James Reimer could get the call in net tonight as the Leafs begin a three-game
 road trip. Reimer is 2-3-0 with a 3.11 goals against average in his career
 against Philadelphia, while Mason, a native of the Greater Toronto area, is
 3-3-1 with a 3.64 GAA in seven lifetime appearances versus the Leafs.
 
 The Flyers posted a 7-4 win in Toronto on Dec. 20 behind four-point nights
 from both Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek. Giroux had two goals and two
 helpers, while Voracek notched four assists.
 
 Voracek leads the NHL with 58 points and 41 assists, while Giroux has 52
 points on 16 goals and 36 assists.
 
 Philadelphia has claimed two straight and eight of the past 12 meetings with
 the Leafs, who have lost eight of their last 11 at Wells Fargo Center.
 
 Toronto is just 7-13-4 on the road and has lost eight in a row as the guest
 since beating Boston on Dec. 31. The Leafs will continue their swing Tuesday
 in Nashville before visiting New Jersey on Friday.
 
 
 DALLAS STARS (22-19-7) AT WINNIPEG JETS (26-16-8), 7 P.M.
 
 (SportsNetwork.com) - The Winnipeg Jets will try to avoid posting their
 longest losing streak since October as they host the Dallas Stars on Saturday
 night at MTS Centre.
 
 The Jets have lost back-to-back games on the heels of a five-game win streak,
 putting the current Western Conference wild card holders four points behind
 Chicago and six back of St. Louis in the Central Division. They also are eight
 points off the pace of first-place Nashville.
 
 Winnipeg was defeated 5-2 by the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, with Mathieu
 Perreault scoring both goals for the visitors. He lit the lamp for the first
 time since scoring four goals on Jan. 13 versus Florida and his 18 tallies on
 the season are one off the career-high 19 he had in 69 games a season ago.
 
 "I feel a lot better today, but at the end of the day, it's not good enough
 for our team," said Perreault. "We were sitting pretty in the standings. Then
 you lose two, so we've got to start winning. You can't wait until late March
 to get going."
 
 Michael Hutchinson took the loss despite 27 stops as the Jets are in danger of
 losing three in a row for the first time since a season-high four-game slide
 from Oct. 11-19.
 
 Netminder Ondrej Pavelec may be the one to try to help Winnipeg snap its skid
 if the club's goaltender rotation remains in place. Pavelec is 4-3-0 lifetime
 versus the Stars in seven games (6 starts) with a 3.65 goals against average
 and .900 save percentage.
 
 The Jets have won the first two of four meetings this season with the Stars,
 both in Dallas, and have split four encounters in Winnipeg since relocating
 from Atlanta.
 
 The Stars put their own two-game losing streak to rest on Thursday, overcoming
 a blown lead to beat the Ottawa Senators 6-3.
 
 Dallas led 3-0 in the first period before Ottawa scored twice in the final
 four minutes of the frame and then saw the Senators pull even 2:45 into the
 third.
 
 However, John Klingberg scored unassisted with 9:09 to play and Dallas got
 empty-net goals from Trevor Daley and Jaime Benn, both shorthanded.
 
 Despite the win, head coach Lindy Ruff thought the Stars played better in
 Tuesday's 3-2 loss at Montreal.
 
 "I didn't like the mistakes we made when the game was 3-0," Ruff said. "They
 won a puck battle on a faceoff; they won a puck battle inside the blue line.
 When you are winning 3-0 those are battles you got to win. Tonight, we found a
 way to win. The other night, we deserved to win and didn't."
 
 Benn also scored in the first period, Daley added two assists and both Colton
 Sceviour and Ales Hemsky tallied to back Kari Lehtonen's 25 saves.
 
 Dallas is four points back of a wild card spot and will likely turn to
 Lehtonen, who is 4-1-1 lifetime versus the Jets in six meetings with a 1.95
 GAA and .944 save percentage.
 
 Winnipeg placed forward Matt Halischuk on injured reserve Friday due to an
 undisclosed injury and recalled winger T.J. Galiardi from the minors.
 
 
 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (21-22-3) AT TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (31-15-4), 7:30 P.M.
 
 (SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning aim to keep hold of first place
 in the Atlantic Division and extend their longest home winning streak in
 franchise history on Saturday night as they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets.
 
 The Lightning were handed only their third loss in nine games with a 4-2
 setback at Carolina on Tuesday, but returned home to roll past the Detroit Red
 Wings 5-1 on Thursday. It was Tampa Bay's ninth straight win at home and
 improved the club to 20-4-1 at Amalie Arena on the season.
 
 The Bolts have not lost at home since Dec. 9 versus Washington.
 
 Rookie Cedric Paquette led the rout of Detroit with his first career hat
 trick, giving him nine goals in 40 career games, while Steven Stamkos and Mark
 Barberio also scored. Jonathan Drouin and Alex Killorn added two assists each.
 
 "It never gets old watching those hats go over the wall," Tampa Bay head coach
 Jon Cooper said of Paquette's hat trick. "He earned every one."
 
 Ben Bishop posted 27 saves for the Lightning, who with 66 points are one ahead
 of both Montreal and Detroit for first place in the division. The Canadiens
 and Red Wings are both in action at home on Saturday afternoon.
 
 Columbus, meanwhile, was defeated 3-2 by Florida on Thursday, snapping a 10-
 game winning streak over the Panthers with a sixth loss in nine games overall.
 
 Defenseman Jack Johnson and rookie Alexander Wennberg had second-period goals,
 while Curtis McElhinney made 28 saves.
 
 "I thought we had some energy and some jump ... we gave ourselves an
 opportunity," McElhinney said.
 
 Columbus has been hit hard with injuries all season along and still remains
 without Nathan Horton and Boone Jenner while recently losing No. 1 goaltender
 Sergei Bobrovsky. However, forward Artem Anisimov returned to action on
 Thursday after missing 23 games in a row with a torn triceps, while defenseman
 Ryan Murray could be back in the lineup tonight.
 
 Murray, the second overall pick of the 2012 draft, has been held to just four
 games this season due to injury. He sat out the first seven contests while
 recovering from knee surgery, then experienced a setback in early November and
 has missed the last 36 contests.
 
 The Jackets and Bolts have split the first two of three meetings this season.
 Tampa Bay recorded a 7-4 win in Columbus on Nov. 8, getting goals from six
 different players, but the Blue Jackets came back with a 3-1 road win on Dec.
 6.
 
 That was only Columbus' second victory all-time at Tampa (2-5-2).
 
 Bishop is 1-2-0 with a 1.77 goals against average and a .918 save percentage
 in three meetings (2 starts) with the Jackets, while McElhinney is 2-4-0 with
 a 2.68 GAA and .916 save percentage in seven games (4 starts) versus the
 
 
 EDMONTON OILERS (13-27-9) AT CALGARY FLAMES (26-20-3), 10 P.M.
 
 (SportsNetwork.com) - The Calgary Flames hope to bounce back from their first
 shutout defeat of the season on Saturday night when they play host to the
 Edmonton Oilers.
 
 The Flames began a six-game homestand with Tuesday's win over the Buffalo
 Sabres, getting a pair of goals from Johnny Gaudreau and 17 saves by Jonas
 Hiller, but were blanked 1-0 by the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.
 
 The Wild's Devan Dubnyk stopped all 30 of the Flames' shots on net as Calgary
 lost for just the second time in seven games. Hiller made 31 saves.
 
 Calgary forward Sean Monahan had a five-game point streak snapped. He had four
 goals and two assists over the run.
 
 "It's a tough loss, but like usual we battled hard," Calgary head coach Bob
 Hartley said.
 
 The Flames are two points behind the Vancouver Canucks for third place in the
 Pacific Division. Their 55 points are just one point ahead of the Los Angeles
 Kings and three back of the second-place San Jose Sharks.
 
 Hiller is likely to start again tonight and is an excellent 15-4-1 with a 1.98
 goals against average and .929 save percentage in 23 career meetings versus
 the Oilers with 20 starts. He has yielded four goals on 47 shots in a pair of
 wins this season.
 
 Calgary has won its past five versus Edmonton, including the first three of
 five encounters this season.
 
 Though the Oilers rank 29th out of 30 NHL teams this season, they have won
 three of their past four. That includes a victory on Thursday over the Sabres,
 who are last in the league standings and four points back of Edmonton.
 
 Ben Scrivens made 18 saves in the 3-2 win over the Sabres, while Anton Lander
 factored into all three goals with his first tally of the season and two
 assists.
 
 "He was exceptional, by far the best player on the ice," Oilers coach Todd
 Nelson said of Lander.
 
 Defenseman Oscar Klefbom also scored his first goal of the season, while Matt
 Fraser tallied as well.
 
 Already without forward Taylor Hall, who is questionable for this game with a
 bruised left leg, blueliner Nikita Nikitin was lost indefinitely due to a
 shoulder injury suffered versus the Sabres.
 
 Edmonton will play eight of its next nine on the road and Scrivens figures to
 start. He is 0-2-1 with a 3.42 GAA and .864 save percentage lifetime versus
 the Flames in five games with three starts.
 
 
 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (31-16-2) AT SAN JOSE SHARKS (26-17-6), 10:30 P.M.
 
 (SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks may not be at
 the very top of the NHL standings, but they recently showed they can run with
 the league's elite.
 
 The Blackhawks and Sharks both aim to build off recent victories on Saturday
 night when they clash in San Jose.
 
 Chicago and San Jose are coming off wins over the Anaheim Ducks, who lead the
 NHL in points with 70. The Sharks topped their division rivals 6-3 on
 Thursday, while the Blackhawks handed the Ducks a 4-1 setback last night.
 
 San Jose got 25 saves from Antti Niemi and goals from six different skaters in
 picking up the home win. Joe Pavelski had a power-play goal and Brenden Dillon
 scored shorthanded.
 
 Patrick Marleau, Barclay Goodrow and James Sheppard each tallied a goal and an
 assist as the Sharks moved to 3-1-1 on a seven-game homestand.
 
 "Special teams got us going and it was good to see," Pavelski said after
 scoring for a third game in a row.
 
 The Sharks are second in the Pacific Division with 58 points, one ahead of the
 Vancouver Canucks and 12 back of the Ducks. San Jose didn't lose ground in the
 race for first place thanks to Chicago's victory last night.
 
 Patrick Kane scored twice and had an assist on Friday versus the Ducks, while
 Patrick Sharp assisted on all four goals. Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith lit
 the lamp as well, while Corey Crawford finished with 21 saves.
 
 The Blackhawks, who were up 3-0 entering the third, blew three one-goal leads
 in Wednesday's 4-3 loss at Los Angeles, and perhaps thoughts of that game
 entered their minds when Anaheim finally scored with 9:54 remaining.
 
 But Kane put Chicago back up by three with 6:35 left as Chicago won for the
 third time in four games.
 
 "I thought that fourth goal was a big goal for us," said Chicago coach Joel
 Quenneville.
 
 The Blackhawks, who play the fourth of a seven-game road trip tonight, have a
 four-point edge over the Winnipeg Jets for third place in the Central Division
 and are two points behind St. Louis in the division standings.
 
 The 'Hawks won the first of three meetings with the Sharks this season 5-2 at
 Chicago on Nov. 9. Toews had a goal and an assist and Crawford made 32 saves.
 
 Backup Antti Raanta is expected to start tonight for Chicago and face San Jose
 for the first time. He is a solid 7-3-0 on the campaign with a 1.87 goals
 against average, .939 save percentage and two shutouts in 11 games (10 starts)
 overall.
 
 Pavelski had both of the Sharks' goals versus the Blackhawks, Joe Thornton had
 two assists and Niemi yielded all four goals on 36 shots.
 
 Niemi fell to 6-7-1 versus Chicago with a 2.94 GAA and.910 save percentage in
 14 games.
 
 
 
 
 
 01/31 10:42:59 ET