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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
CAR 4
TAM 2
7:30pm Tonight
ND
DUKE
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
CHA
 
9:00pm Tonight
NCSU
CLEM
 
9:00pm Tonight
MEM
ECU
 
Final
IND 91
TOR 104
Final
DET 95
CLE 103
Final
MIA 102
MIL 109
Final
DAL 90
MEM 109
Final
GSW 111
CHI 113
Final
LAL 92
WAS 98
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
BOS
 
8:00pm Tonight
ATL
BRK
 
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HOU
DAL
 
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NOP
DEN
 
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NYK
OKC
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
CHA
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
PHO
WAS
 
Final
AKR 59
BST 47
 
Final
KSU 63
CMICH 53
 
Final
VCU 72
GWU 48
Final
TOL 70
UMO 65
 
Final
MICH 58
NEB 44
Final
BGU 56
NILL 46
 
Final
EMICH 76
OHIO 40
 
Final
VT 70
PITT 67
Final
LAS 53
STJOE 48
Final
TULA 55
TULSA 62
Final
UGA 70
VANDY 62
Final
KYST 59
WVU 65
Final
BUF 77
WMICH 71
 
Final
GEOR 53
XAV 66
Final
EVAN 89
INDST 78
 
Final
ORU 94
TABOR 53
 
Final
OKST 64
BAY 53
9:00pm Tuesday
PROV 0
DEP 0
 
Final
ALA 50
UF 52
9:00pm Tuesday
RUTG 0
MSU 0
 
Final
ARK 69
TENN 64
Final
AUB 61
TEXAM 71
Final
UTST 56
WYO 44
Final
SDST 58
FRES 47
Final
CALST 79
SDCHR 54
 
Final
NEV 62
UNLV 67
Final
BSU 82
COLST 78
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VERM
GTDNS
 
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NAVY
AMER
 
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UMBC
BING
 
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JMU
DEL
 
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RICH
DUQ
 
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UNCW
ELON
 
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USB
HART
 
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WMARY
HOF
 
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COL
LAF
 
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PSU
MINN
 
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MAINE
UNH
 
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DREX
NE
 
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FORD
RIU
 
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SFLA
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MARQ
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LSU
SCAR
 
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UCF
TEMPL
 
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LONG
UNCA
 
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FSU
WAKE
 
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CCAR
WINT
 
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OU
WRST
 
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ND
DUKE
 
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GHND 0
HC 0
 
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CSOU
RAD
 
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OKLA
TTU
 
8:00pm Tonight
BRAD
DRAK
 
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BUCK
LEH
 
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WICHS
LOYC
 
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ILLST
MIZST
 
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PEAY
MORE
 
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SDKST
NEOM
 
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ARST
ORST
 
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HOU
RICE
 
8:05pm Tonight
SILL
NIOWA
 
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NCSU
CLEM
 
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MEM
ECU
 
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MIAMI
GT
 
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PURD
IND
 
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TCU
KU
 
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BC
LOU
 
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MISS
MSST
 
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CREI
STJ
 
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SJST
AFA
 
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ARZ
OREG
 
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WASH
STAN
 
Final
PHI 4
ARI 3
Final
NYI 4
NYR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 3
Final
PIT 5
WIN 3
Final
MON 3
DAL 2
Final
FLA 4
DET 5
Final
CAR 4
TAM 2
Final
NAS 4
COL 3
Final
CAL 4
BUF 1
Final
EDM 1
MIN 2
Final
VAN 0
ANA 4
7:30pm Tonight
NJD
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
WAS
PIT
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
CHI