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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, March 17th (All times Eastern)

Vancouver Canucks (31-29-10) at Tampa Bay Lightning (36-24-7), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Ben Bishop is one of the main reasons that the Tampa Bay Lightning remain in the playoff picture despite an extended absence by Steven Stamkos due to injury.

Fresh off of setting a club record for wins in a season, Bishop will look to lead the Lightning past the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night in the finale of a six-game homestand.

Though Stamkos missed 45 games from mid-November to early March with a broken right leg, the Lightning were able to keep pace in the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division. With 79 points, Tampa Bay is occupying the first wild card spot and also is just one point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for third place in the division.

Bishop has been a big part of that success as he is among the league leaders with 31 wins, five shutouts, a 2.10 goals against average and .929 save percentage.

The 27-year-old, in his first season as a full-time starter, had struggled to string victories together recently, but won a second outing in a row for the first time since late January with a 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. Bishop made 23 saves in his eighth career shutout and surpassed Nikolai Khabibulin's 2002-03 franchise record of 30 wins in a season.

"It's a nice accomplishment," Bishop said, "A a whole lot of credit goes to the guys in front of me. I don't get that without them. It's a team thing. I don't like at it as an individual thing."

Defenseman Michael Kostka scored in a second straight game and also had an assist, giving him five points in seven games since joining the Lightning off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks.

"I just try to play solid defensively when I'm on the ice," said Kostka. "But it's nice to be able to chip in with a goal when I have the chance."

B.J. Crombeen and Nate Thompson also scored in the victory, Tampa Bay's second straight following an 0-3-2 drought.

The Canucks also are hoping to string together back-to-back victories and a win tonight would give the club its first winning streak since consecutive triumphs on Jan. 18 and 21. Vancouver has won two of three on a four-game road trip after besting the Florida Panthers 4-3 yesterday in a shootout.

Vancouver was facing Roberto Luongo for the first time since dealing him to the Panthers on March 4. Luongo made 29 saves, but also yielded the lone goal of the shootout to the Canucks' Nicklas Jensen.

Eddie Lack, whose production as a rookie this season led to Luongo being dealt, ended with 26 saves and stopped all three skaters in the shootout.

Dan Hamhuis and Alexandre Burrows scored in regulation for the Canucks, who escaped with two points after giving up a game-tying goal with 1:35 left in regulation.

"Especially the way the game was tied up there at the end, to get the win was huge for us," said Jensen.

Vancouver won for just the third time in its last nine games (3-5-1) and improved to 3-12-1 in its past 16 on the road. The victory also pulled the Canucks to within three points of the Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.

The Canucks have lost four of their past six versus the Lightning, including a 4-2 defeat at home on Jan. 1. Alex Killorn and Valtteri Filppula both had a goal and an assist, while Bishop made 28 saves.

Lack yielded four goals on 33 shots for the Canucks, who have won four of their past six in Tampa.

Both Bishop and Lack faced their respective opponent for the first time in their career in that earlier meeting.

03/17 10:34:09 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
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NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
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CAR
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CHA
TOR
 
Final
DET 4
ATL 6
 
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TAM 2
BAL 3
 
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PIT 1
NYY 2
 
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HOU 6
PHI 3
 
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MIA 1
STL 4
 
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SFG 8
CHC 6
 
Final
CIN 3
CLE 9
 
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CWS 1
LOS 6
 
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ANA 3
MIL 2
 
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CHC 2
OAK 2
 
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SEA 9
SDP 4
 
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KAN 5
TEX 4
 
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ARI 4
COL 3
 
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WAS 5
NYM 4
 
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MIN 9
BOS 8
 
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BAL 5
TOR 0
 
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HOU
 
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CHI 108
OKC 105
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POR 94
DAL 75
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MDES 89
MRGST 76
 
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SIENA 71
NIAG 54
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LEH 62
AMER 68
 
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SCAR 74
ARK 78
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LAF 89
BU 64
 
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PETE 63
FAIR 33
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BUCK 90
HC 83
 
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UNF 71
LIP 57
 
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TENNM 65
MORE 76
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COL 72
NAVY 62
 
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ECU 56
TEMPL 70
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FATL 62
UAB 59
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FLGC 62
USCU 63
 
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CHAR 84
WKENT 88
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MINN 63
WISC 76
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MIZST 48
SILL 55
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COPST 92
DELST 104
 
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FIU 59
MTST 54
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HAMP 69
NORST 80
 
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NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
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COOK 72
SCST 62
 
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APP 67
TXST 64
 
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GSOUT 76
TXARL 64
 
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LAMON 50
UGST 58
 
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ODU 67
MARS 50
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TXSA 74
RICE 76
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FAM 64
SAV 57
 
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LATU 72
SMISS 61
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JST 72
ALAAM 54
 
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GRAM 46
ALAST 78
 
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TXSOU 94
ALCOR 73
 
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NICST 77
CARK 70
 
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TAMCC 85
HOUB 72
 
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NARZ 58
PORST 51
 
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LAM 61
SHSU 67
 
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ARKST 76
SALA 81
 
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PVU 73
SOUTH 77
 
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LALAF 75
ARKLR 69
 
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NO 85
SELA 79
 
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INCWORD 64
ABCHRIST 52
 
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MVSU 0
ARKPB 0
 
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ARZ 99
CAL 60
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WASH 47
COL 64
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WEBER 74
IDAHO 63
 
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UCONN 53
MEM 54
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UTEP 83
UNT 60
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STEPH 92
NWST 66
 
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SUTAH 69
SACST 65
 
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DAVID 82
VCU 55
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IDST 81
EWASH 85
 
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QUIN 74
MAR 80
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BEL 97
EILL 64
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DRAK 50
BRAD 52
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LBSU 69
CSNO 58
 
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UCI 68
CSFU 62
 
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UCD 61
UCR 59
 
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ARST 67
STAN 62
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WASU 59
UTAH 67
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MVSU
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CSOU
LONG
 
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WICHS
SILL
 
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RAD
WINT
 
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HIGH
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UNCG
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KSU
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BOS 3
CAL 4
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WAS 1
MIN 2
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PHI 3
STL 1
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FLA 3
DAL 4
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TAM 4
TOR 2
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NAS 3
NYI 4
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ARI 3
VAN 2
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LOS 4
MON 3
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CLB
 
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CAL
 
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PIT