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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
WAS 110
CHA 107
Final
LOU 75
NCSU 65
Final
DUKE 63
UTAH 57
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ATL
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
NJD
 
Final
ATL 4
BOS 2
Final
STL 5
NYM 4
Final
PHI 0
NYY 10
Final
MIN 2
PIT 4
Final
WAS 1
STL 1
4th
BAL 0
TAM 0
 
Final
TOR 4
DET 1
Final
CHC 6
CWS 3
Final
OAK 7
TEX 6
Final
ANA 2
ARI 7
Final
ARI 3
CLE 2
6:05pm Friday
HOU 0
MIA 0
 
Final
KAN 5
SEA 1
5th
SDP 4
COL 5
 
7th
CIN 5
MIL 7
 
8th
LOS 3
SFG 5
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
HOU
 
1:05pm Today
MIN
PHI
 
1:05pm Today
DET
STL
 
1:05pm Today
PIT
TOR
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
ATL
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
WAS
 
4:05pm Today
CIN
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
MIL
CLE
 
4:05pm Today
CHC
COL
 
4:05pm Today
CWS
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
TEX
SDP
 
4:05pm Today
SEA
SFG
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
KAN
 
4:10pm Today
ANA
LOS
 
Final
WAS 110
CHA 107
Final
ORL 97
DET 111
Final
PHI 98
LAC 119
Final
NYK 92
BOS 96
Final
BRK 106
CLE 98
Final
TOR 94
LAL 83
Final
ATL 99
MIA 86
Final
MEM 84
GSW 107
Final
HOU 120
MIN 110
Final
NOP 102
SAC 88
Final
SAN 94
DAL 76
Final
DEN 107
UTA 91
Final
PHO 81
POR 87
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ATL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NYK
 
8:30pm Tonight
MIL
GSW
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
OKC
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
DEN
 
Final
GONZ 74
UCLA 62
Final
LOU 75
NCSU 65
Final
DUKE 63
UTAH 57
 
1st OT
NARZ 70
KSU 73
 
Final
OKLA 58
MSU 62
 
6:09pm Tonight
WISC
ARZ
 
7:30pm Tonight
YALE
CAN
 
8:49pm Tonight
KENT
ND
 
Final
MIN 4
CAL 2
Final
CHI 2
CLB 5
Final
EDM 4
DAL 0
12:30pm Today
WAS
NAS
 
1:00pm Today
NYI
ANA
 
1:00pm Today
PIT
ARI
 
1:00pm Today
BOS
NYR
 
1:00pm Today
PHI
SJS
 
2:00pm Today
DET
TAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
MON
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CLB
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
BUF
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
DAL