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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, March 20th (All times Eastern)

Tampa Bay Lightning (38-24-7) at Ottawa Senators (28-27-13), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to match their longest winning streak of the season on Thursday night as they visit the struggling Ottawa Senators.

The Lightning have followed up a five-game losing streak by winning four straight, including Wednesday's big divisional meeting with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Steven Stamkos notched a natural hat trick in the 5-3 victory, giving him five goals in his last four games. The forward has 19 goals and 30 points in just 24 games this season, having missed time with a broken leg.

Stamkos had a solid homecoming, posting his second hat trick of the season and seventh of his career.

"There might have been a little extra energy coming back home and playing this game in front of family and friends," Stamkos, a native of nearby Markham, Ontario said. "Especially with the magnitude of the game and how tight we are in the playoff race."

Radko Gudas and Tyler Johnson had goals, Ryan Malone and Valtteri Filppula notched two assists each and Ben Bishop came up with 36 saves, including 21 in the third period.

The game did see a scary incident in the final seconds of the first period when Tampa forward Alex Killorn was issued a major for boarding and a game misconduct for a hit on Leafs defenseman Paul Ranger.

Ranger was immobilized and removed from the arena on a stretcher. He was taken to a local hospital for observation, and the Leafs stated later that Ranger was in stable condition, conscious and alert.

"Pretty unfortunate," Killorn said. "Happy that he is OK. I heard through the PR and stuff that he is doing all right now. It's kind of a scary moment, one of those plays where I commit to hit someone without knowing if they are going to turn, so it's just an unfortunate play."

The victory moved the Lightning into a tie with the Montreal Canadiens for second place in the Atlantic Division with 83 points. That is three ahead of the fourth-place Maple Leafs.

While Tampa Bay seeks to match a season-high five-game win streak set from Dec. 15-23, Ottawa will by hoping to avoid going five straight games without a victory for the first time since a 0-3-2 drought from Oct. 25-Nov. 3.

Ottawa is 0-2-2 in its last four games and sits seven points back of the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Senators lost their fourth in a row at home with Tuesday's 8-4 setback to the New York Rangers. Both Ottawa goaltenders struggled, with starter Robin Lehner stopping just 23-of-28 shots in his third straight start. Nathan Lawson made 10-of-12 saves in relief during the third period before exiting with an injury and forcing Lehner back into the game.

Mike Hoffman, Mika Zibanejad, Milan Michalek and Bobby Ryan all had goals for the Senators.

"I think we're generating some offense but, again, we're turning over the puck and putting our goalie in a tough spot and they haven't been able to make the save," said Senators coach Paul MacLean. "We have to work to get open, we have to play for one another and we have to find them when they're open."

With No. 1 goaltender Craig Anderson still out with a bruised left shoulder and Lawson now day-to-day with a lower-body issue, the Senators recalled netminder Andrew Hammond from the minors.

The Senators lost their first two meetings with the Lightning this season, both in Tampa, before handing the Bolts a fifth straight loss in Ottawa with a 5-3 decision on Jan. 30.

Ryan and Kyle Turris both had a goal and an assist, while Anderson made 35 saves.

Both Bishop and Filppula suffered injuries in that meeting for the Lighting.

03/20 10:54:31 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
3rd
TOR 79
NYK 67
 
2nd
CLE 26
MEM 23
 
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
BOS
6:00pm Tonight
BRK
DET
6:00pm Tonight
SAC
LAL
6:00pm Tonight
ORL
PHI
6:00pm Tonight
WAS
PHO
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
7:00pm Tonight
OKC
NOP
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
Final
LIP 69
PEAY 63
 
Final
DEN 46
BRY 48
 
Final
MONT 62
SD 67
 
Final
MTST 65
TENST 47
 
2nd
SAMF 64
LAMON 50
 
2nd
SCAR 60
COKR 40
 
2nd
HAMP 38
NARZ 27
 
2nd
SDU 53
SDCHR 31
 
2nd
BC 48
USC 49
 
Half
NICST 32
TROY 25
 
Half
BRAD 27
UCI 22
 
6:00pm Tonight
UGA
SHU
6:30pm Tonight
ALA
APP
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NDST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WASU
SJST
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
6:00pm Tonight
DET
COL
6:00pm Tonight
EDM
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
TOR
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
Final
HOU 25
BAL 13
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
Final
MIA 37
MIN 35
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
2nd
STL 3
NYG 20
 
2nd
OAK 7
BUF 7
 
2nd
DAL 21
IND 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA