NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 25th (All times Eastern)
Colorado Avalanche (32-13-5) at Tampa Bay Lightning (30-16-5), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning try to build off their first home victory of the new year on Saturday night as they play host to the Colorado Avalanche.
The Lightning had dropped five in a row as the hosting club before securing a 4-3 shootout victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. Nikita Kucherov had the only goal of the tiebreaker, with Ben Bishop turning aside Mika Zibanejad, Jason Spezza and Kyle Turris in the shootout after stopping 33 shots through overtime.
Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and B.J. Crombeen all scored in regulation and defenseman Victor Hedman assisted on all three goals as the Bolts won at home for the first time since Dec. 21.
"It feels great to get the win," said Hedman. "To get our first win at home in 2014 was huge and we need to keep that going. There are a lot of big division games coming up, so we need to keep pushing forward."
Forward Martin St. Louis notched an assist -- the 598th of his career -- to extend his point streak to nine straight games. The veteran has eight goals and five helpers over the run.
Tampa Bay, which has won two straight, is tied with Boston atop the Atlantic Division with 65 points despite the recent struggles at home and will host the Avalanche tonight for the first time since a 6-5 win on Dec. 4, 2010.
That is the Lightning's lone win over the Avs in the past eight meetings overall, however, and Colorado notched a 2-1 overtime win at home when the teams last met on Dec. 23, 2011.
The Avalanche are 6-1-1 in their last eight games overall, leaving them third in the Central Division and four points back of second-place St. Louis.
Colorado held on for a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers last night, allowing two third-period goals while getting outshot 20-6 in the frame after going up by three goals.
Semyon Varlamov, though, was able to make 18 of his 34 saves in the final frame.
"We didn't move our feet as much in the third as we did in the first two," said Colorado head coach Patrick Roy.
Ryan O'Reilly scored his career-high 19th goal of the season and had an assist, giving him five goals and two helpers over his last six games. Paul Stastny and Jamie McGinn also scored.
Colorado had forward Alex Tanguay in the lineup after he missed the last 36 games with knee and hip injuries. He had an assist in his return, while Matt Duchene notched a pair of helpers.
01/25 10:24:27 ET