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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, March 4th (All times Eastern)

Tampa Bay Lightning (34-22-5) at St. Louis Blues (40-14-6), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The St. Louis Blues return home on Tuesday night for the first time since acquiring goaltender Ryan Miller and forward Steve Ott as they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Blues got Miller and Ott from the Buffalo Sabres on Friday, giving up a pair of draft picks, goaltender Jaroslav Halak, forward Chris Stewart and prospect William Carrier.

Miller and Ott made their St. Louis debuts on Sunday in a road matchup with the Phoenix Coyotes, won by the Blues 4-2.

Miller allowed a goal in the first three minutes and saw his new club down 2-0 after 40 minutes, but the Blues rallied for four goals in the third period. Patrik Berglund scored twice, while Magnus Paajarvi and Kevin Shattenkirk added tallies.

"I was pretty anxious and nervous all day," Miller said after making 23 saves. "It's a new group of guys and you want to show them what you've got and let them know you're there for them."

Ott, meanwhile, logged 13 minutes and 58 seconds of ice time, registering two shots and three hits.

St. Louis had lost back-to-back 1-0 games on the road to open its post-Olympic schedule, but comes into play on Tuesday tied with the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the Central Division. The Blues and 'Hawks are three points up on the third-place Colorado Avalanche.

Miller and Ott could both make their home debuts tonight and Miller is 19-9-0 with a 2.67 goals against average in his career versus the Lightning.

Tampa Bay closes out a four-game road trip and has lost two of three on the swing as well as six of its last nine overall. The Lightning took a one-goal lead into the third period of Sunday's meetings with the Avalanche, but ended up dropping a 6-3 decision after allowing four goals in the final frame.

Nate Thompson scored twice and Tom Pyatt lit the lamp, while Ben Bishop was charged with four goals on 33 shots. Colorado scored twice into an empty net to close the scoring.

"It's tough for us right now," said Thompson. "We had a couple breakdowns at the end and those ended up in the back of the net."

The Lightning, who sit just one point ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs for third place in the Atlantic Division, lost defenseman Radko Gudas to a leg injury in the second period on Sunday and he is day-to-day.

Bishop was a third-round pick by the Blues in 2005 and faced his former club for the first time on Nov. 2 in Tampa. He backstopped a 4-2 win, stopping 28- of-30 shots faced.

Alex Killorn scored a goal and had two assists for the Lightning, who snapped a two-game slide to the Blues. Tampa Bay, though, has dropped 11 of its past 13 in St. Louis.

03/04 10:55:39 ET

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