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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, January 23rd (All times Eastern)
Ottawa Senators (22-19-9) at Tampa Bay Lightning (29-16-5), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Ottawa Senators will aim for a fourth straight win as the guest when they continue a four-game road trip with Thursday's Atlantic Division battle against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Ottawa is 7-1-2 over its last 10 games overall, but went 0-1-1 on a recent two-game homestand before snapping the slide with Tuesday's 2-0 victory in Washington. The win was the third straight road victory for the Sens and improved their record as the guest this season to 11-8-4.
Craig Anderson made 34 saves for his third shutout of the season in Tuesday's triumph, while Kyle Turris and Jason Spezza scored for the Senators, who earned their seventh straight win over the Capitals.
"I thought our team game was very solid throughout," Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "I thought we played a really good 60 minutes in the game. I thought the momentum swings we handled well or dictated a little bit of it."
Thanks in large part to its play over the last 10 games, Ottawa has pulled within one point of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Columbus and Detroit currently hold the eighth seed with 54 points and both teams are in action tonight.
Anderson will get the start tonight for the Sens and he is 6-2-2 with a 1.42 goals against average in 11 career games against the Lightning.
The Lightning, who are in second place in the Atlantic Division, also halted a two-game losing streak in their last game, posting a 5-3 decision in Sunday's road tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes. Mark Barberio scored the first two goals of his career to help Tampa Bay down the Hurricanes at PNC Arena.
Ondrej Palat had a goal and two assists while Teddy Purcell and Nikita Kucherov also scored for the Lightning, who had lost four of six entering Sunday's contest. Ben Bishop stopped a career-high 48 shots in the win.
"I'm sure they were frustrated, but that's what you're supposed to do," Bishop said of stopping a career high in shots.
Bishop expects to get the start tonight and is 2-0 with a 1.50 GAA in two career outings the Senators, who traded him to Tampa Bay last season for forward Cory Conacher.
Lightning forward Martin St. Louis enters Thursday riding an eight-game point streak, the longest current stretch in the NHL. He has eight goals and four assists during the run and is leading the Bolts this season with 50 points (25 goals, 25 assists).
Tampa is kicking off a two-game homestand tonight and will also face Colorado on Saturday. The Lightning boast a solid 14-6-3 record on home ice this season.
Bishop and the Lightning recorded a 3-1 win over visiting Ottawa on Dec. 5, giving Tampa wins in three straight home games in this series. The Bolts also have won two in a row and three of the last four encounters overall.
01/23 10:52:07 ET