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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, January 3rd (All times Eastern)

Tampa Bay Lightning (24-12-4) at Calgary Flames (14-20-6), 9 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning look for a second victory in as many games on their current road trip Friday night as they visit a Calgary Flames club that continues to struggle on offense.

The Lightning began a four-game swing through Western Canada with a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday. It was Tampa Bay's fourth straight win on the road and gave the club a 6-1-1 record over its last eight games overall.

Valtteri Filppula, Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov all scored in the third period for the Lightning, who also visit Edmonton and Winnipeg on the trip, and Ben Bishop made 28 saves.

Filppula, who also had an assist, and Johnson scored 20 seconds apart to give the Bolts the lead and Kucherov responded with a power-play tally with three seconds left in the frame just over four minutes after the Canucks tied it.

Alex Killorn had a goal in the third period after assisting on Filppula's goal.

"We played a solid road game," Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper said. "We fell behind, found a way to get the lead and held on to it."

Filppula has notched 32 points in 40 games this season, including five goals and seven assists over his last eight games, while Johnson has three goals and an assist in his past four.

Bishop improved to 21-5-3 with a 1.89 goals against average and .935 save percentage in 30 starts this season. He is 0-2-0 with a 3.55 GAA in two previous meetings with the Flames.

Calgary looks to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat tonight and has been outscored 8-1 over its current slump. The Flames began a five-game homestand with a shootout win over St. Louis on Dec. 23, but were shut out by Edmonton and Vancouver in their first two games after the Christmas break.

Rookie Sean Monahan finally got the Flames a goal in Tuesday's meeting with the Philadelphia Flyers, but it was the only one in a 4-1 setback.

"We're building a new culture and we have some young players who we want to give some ice time and learn what to do out there," said Calgary head coach Bob Hartley. "But right now is a tough time because we're not scoring goals."

Reto Berra gave up three goals on 20 shots for a Flames club that has been shut out in three of its last eight games.

While it might not help the offense, defenseman Dennis Wideman is on track to return tonight for the Flames. He has been sidelined since breaking his hand on Nov. 27, missing 16 straight games.

Forward Lee Stempniak did miss practice on Thursday, however, due to illness.

The Lightning have won seven of their past 10 versus the Flames and three of the previous four played in Calgary.

The Flames will give former Lightning goaltender Karri Ramo the start tonight. He was a sixth-round pick by the Bolts in 2004 and appeared in 48 games with the club through 2008-09 before going to the Kontinental Hockey League. He has never before faced Tampa Bay.

01/03 10:31:07 ET

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8:30pm Tonight
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NYM 4
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1:05pm Today
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1:10pm Today
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1:35pm Today
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1:35pm Today
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1:35pm Today
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1:40pm Today
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2:10pm Today
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2:10pm Today
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2:10pm Today
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2:20pm Today
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3:35pm Today
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4:05pm Today
OAK
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
8:05pm Tonight
STL
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BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
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Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
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Final
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Final
UGA 66
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Final
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TULA 13
Final
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HAW 12
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MARS 48
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KU 24
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UNC 41
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UTAH 26
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UVA 33
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FSU 23
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ARZ 49
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WASU 31
OREG 38
 
Final
BSU 34
LALAF 9
 
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
BUF
 
6:30pm Tonight
CLB
STL
 
8:00pm Tonight
EDM
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8:00pm Tonight
CAL
EDM
 
1:00pm Today
CLE
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1:00pm Today
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1:00pm Today
BUF
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1:00pm Today
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PHI
WAS
4:05pm Today
ARI
SFX
4:25pm Today
SEA
DEN
4:25pm Today
MIA
KAN
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0