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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, March 24th (All times Eastern)

Ottawa Senators (28-29-13) at Tampa Bay Lightning (39-24-8), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning picked up a well-earned point in a recent loss, but the Bolts hope to record their sixth win in seven games when they welcome the sliding Ottawa Senators for Monday's game in Central Florida.

Tampa Bay is trying to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011, and although picking up wins down the stretch is the best way to ensure a return to the postseason, losses that come after regulation can sometimes help as well.

After having a five-game winning streak halted with Saturday's overtime loss in Pittsburgh, the Lightning enter Sunday with 86 points. That gives them a one-point edge over Montreal for second place in the Atlantic Division with the top three clubs from each division earning an automatic bid to the postseason. Tampa also is six points clear of Detroit and Toronto in the Atlantic standings.

Tampa Bay's Ondrej Palat scored with 1:22 left in regulation to force overtime on Saturday, but James Neal delivered the 4-3 win for the Penguins, scoring the game-winning goal 1:27 into OT.

Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin scored twice in the final 8:53 of regulation and added two assists, including one on the deciding goal. With the Penguins on a 4-on-3 advantage in the extra frame thanks to a too many men on the ice penalty, Malkin sent a pass down to Neal in the right circle, and Neal beat Anders Lindback with a one-timer to the far side.

"It's extremely frustrating with how it ended up," Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said, referencing the bad break his team caught with the penalty. "If that puck bounces one way, it doesn't happen."

Lindback gave up four goals on 29 shots as the Lightning were unable to win six in a row for the first time since a seven-game winning streak from Jan. 17-Feb. 4, 2012.

Steven Stamkos had a goal and also assisted on Valtteri Filppula's second- period tally.

Beginning with Monday's test at Tampa Bay Times Forum, the Bolts are playing two straight and eight of their next 10 games at home. The Lightning have won three in a row in Tampa and are 20-8-5 as the host this season.

While the Lightning are aiming to halt a two-season playoff drought, the sliding Senators are headed for their first year out of the postseason since 2011. Ottawa is 11 points out of a playoff spot in the East with only 12 games left on its schedule and is in the midst of a season-worst six-game losing streak.

The Senators lost for the fourth straight time in regulation on Saturday, dropping a 3-1 road decision against Dallas. It was the fourth loss in the last five away games for Ottawa, which fell to 15-14-7 as the guest after losing the opener of a three-game swing.

Ottawa was tied 1-1 with the Stars at the end of 40 minutes, but Trevor Daley and Jamie Benn found the net in the third period to spur Dallas to victory. Daley's go-ahead goal came 4:52 into the period and Benn scored just over two minutes later.

Erik Karlsson scored the lone goal for Ottawa, while Robin Lehner absorbed the loss despite making 41 saves.

"We started pretty well," said Karlsson. "We got the lead but couldn't really follow through until the end there and they had a couple of nice goals to finish it off. I think we battled hard and our competing level was there, but unfortunately we just couldn't put the puck in the net."

Lehner has lost all six games during the Sens' current slide, and with No. 1 netminder Craig Anderson battling a left shoulder injury, he could get another start on Monday.

Ottawa's Bobby Ryan, who leads the club with 23 goals this season, left Saturday's loss with a lower-body injury. The winger is questionable for tonight's game.

The Senators, who are on their first six-game slide since going 0-6-1 from Jan. 21-Feb. 7, are 4-9-3 over their last 16 games.

Tampa Bay has won four of the last five meetings with Ottawa and has claimed three of four encounters in 2013-14. Ottawa has lost four straight and seven of its last 10 road games against the Bolts.

03/24 10:52:52 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 104
LAL 103
Final
GT 49
UNC 81
Final
CLEM 61
NCSU 66
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
CHA
 
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
WAKE
 
Final
DET 15
BAL 2
 
Final
MIA 7
MIAFLA 1
 
Final
PHI 5
NYY 5
 
Final
BOS 2
NEASTERN 1
 
Final
TOR 7
PIT 8
 
Final
CIN 10
CLE 0
 
Final
OAK 9
SFG 4
 
Final
BOS 1
BOSTONCOLL 0
 
Final
ARI 4
ASU 0
 
1:05pm Today
BAL
DET
 
1:05pm Today
ATL
NYM
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
PHI
 
1:05pm Today
PIT
TOR
 
3:05pm Today
LOS
CWS
 
3:05pm Today
CLE
CIN
 
3:05pm Today
TEX
KAN
 
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SFG
OAK
 
3:05pm Today
SEA
SDP
 
3:05pm Today
MIL
WMIL
 
3:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
7:05pm Tonight
MIN
UMIN
 
Final
CLE 110
BOS 79
Final
CHA 104
LAL 103
Final
NYK 86
SAC 124
Final
ATL 104
HOU 96
Final
MEM 82
UTA 93
Final
CHI 97
WAS 92
Final
DEN 106
MIL 95
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
PHO
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
CHA
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
CLE
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
UTA
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
DEN
 
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NOP
DET
 
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MIA
LAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
MEM
 
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OKC
PHI
 
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SAN
SAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
MIL
 
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LAC
POR
 
Final
UMO 70
AKR 63
 
Final
NAVY 56
ARMY 52
 
Final
BST 60
EMICH 67
 
Final
BUT 54
GEOR 60
Final
IND 63
IOWA 77
Final
FLGC 81
JVU 63
 
Final
USCU 90
KNST 54
 
Final
BGU 80
KSU 81
 
Final
NKENTUCKY 73
LIP 76
 
Final
HC 62
GHND 45
 
Final
RUTG 50
MD 60
Final
GT 49
UNC 81
Final
BUF 93
OHIO 66
 
Final
ALA 74
MISS 82
Final
DAY 75
RIU 59
Final
CMICH 85
TOL 77
 
Final
DET 77
YOUNG 67
Final
UNF 81
STET 67
 
Final
ABCHRIST 83
HOUB 71
 
Final
NDAK 78
NEOM 80
 
Final
NILL 65
WMICH 63
 
Final
ILLCH 60
WRST 57
Final
MIZZ 63
AUB 61
Final
UGA 64
KENT 72
Final
NW 82
MICH 78
Final
CLEM 61
NCSU 66
Final
UF 66
TEXAM 62
Final
KU 76
WVU 69
Final
CREI 72
VILL 76
12:00pm Today
PBY
LONG
 
2:00pm Today
GWEBB
CAMP
 
6:00pm Tonight
UNCA
LIB
 
6:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
USB
BING
 
7:00pm Tonight
FORD
DUQ
 
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GMAS
GWU
 
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UNH
HART
 
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STJOE
LAS
 
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Terriers
LIU
 
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GTDNS
MAINE
 
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LOU
ND
 
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SHU
PROV
 
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BRY
SHU
 
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MORE
SEMIZ
 
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MNTER
RFLSH
 
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LSU
TENN
 
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SFLA
UCF
 
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VERM
UMBC
 
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RMU
WAGN
 
7:30pm Tonight
UMASS
RICH
 
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TULA
HOU
 
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YALE
HOW
 
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PITT
MIAMI
 
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TXPA
NMST
 
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MSU
PURD
 
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STLU
BONA
 
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DUKE
WAKE
 
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TULSA
CIN
 
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VANDY
MSST
 
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EILL
SIUE
 
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MARQ
STJ
 
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OKST
TCU
 
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UCLA
USC
 
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WYO
UTST
 
10:00pm Tonight
FRES
AFA
 
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SJST
BSU
 
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NEV
COLST
 
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ILL
NEB
 
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ORST
OREG
 
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UNLV
SDST
 
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
UCSB
 
Final
PHI 2
CAL 3
Final
NJD 3
NAS 1
Final
CLB 3
WAS 5
Final
TAM 3
BUF 0
Final
FLA 2
TOR 3
Final
MIN 3
OTT 2
Final
DAL 3
NYI 2
Final
ARI 1
ANA 4
Final
VAN 2
SJS 6
Final
EDM 2
LOS 5
7:30pm Tonight
WIN
OTT
 
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DET
NYR
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
MON
 
10:00pm Tonight
COL
PIT