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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, March 27th (All times Eastern)

New York Islanders (28-35-9) at Tampa Bay Lightning (39-24-9), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning have rallied to pick up a point in each of their last two games, but a return to the win column would be a welcome sight when the Bolts host the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

After matching a season-high with five straight wins, the Lightning have dropped two in a row beyond regulation. Tampa lost 4-3 in overtime Saturday in Pittsburgh and returned home to drop Monday's 4-3 shootout loss to Ottawa.

Tampa trailed 3-2 with less than four minutes left against Pittsburgh before Ondrej Palat tied the game with 1:22 remaining in regulation. The Penguins, however, would win on an OT tally from James Neal.

On Monday, the Lightning found themselves down 3-1 to the Senators midway through the second period before finding a way to earn a point. Victor Hedman scored on the power play with 6:34 left in the second period to make it a one- goal game and Steven Stamkos tallied at 5:44 of the third to even the contest.

Ottawa eventually won when Jason Spezza scored the lone marker of the shootout phase.

Despite earning a point for the ninth straight game (5-0-4) on Monday, the Lightning head into Thursday two points behind Montreal for second place in the Atlantic Division. The Canadiens, who have won six of their last seven games, have played two more games than Tampa and are in action tonight in Detroit.

With 87 points, the Bolts are seven ahead of Toronto for third place in the Atlantic. The top three teams from each division earn automatic bids to the playoffs.

Spezza delivered the winning score for the Sens in Monday's shootout several times before releasing a wrister that fooled Lightning netminder Ben Bishop and found twine in the top right corner.

Nikita Kucherov also scored in the loss, while Bishop stopped 29-of-32 shots in defeat.

The Lightning had a three-game home winning streak snapped on Monday. They are 20-8-6 at Tampa Bay Times Forum this season.

The Islanders are well out of a playoff spot in the East, but they have won two straight and three of their last four games. New York notched Tuesday's 5-4 regulation win at Carolina to post consecutive wins for the first time in more than two months.

Colin McDonald and Matt Martin each had two goals to lift the Islanders past the Hurricanes. New York struck quickly with four goals in the first 10:54 of the game -- chasing Hurricanes starting goaltender Cam Ward in the process -- but were then outscored 4-1 the rest of the way.

In the end, the Isles escaped to win their second straight game for the first time since beating the Flyers and Rangers on Jan. 20 and 21.

"We've been struggling holding onto leads all year so I think ... we just looked at it as another challenge," said McDonald about the Carolina comeback that fell short.

Cal Clutterbuck also scored, McDonald added an assist and Anders Nilsson had 24 saves for the Islanders, who were coming off Sunday's 2-0 win over the Blue Jackets.

New York has won its last two away games and is 17-17-1 as the road club this season.

The Isles have won four of the last five meetings against Tampa Bay and both of this season's encounters ended after regulation. The Bolts recorded a 3-2 shootout win on Long Island on Dec. 17, but New York answered with a 2-1 shootout victory of its own on Jan. 16 in Tampa. The Islanders have won two straight and four of their last six road games in this series.

03/27 11:05:45 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
Final
NCSU 60
BSU 54
Final
PIT 2
CAR 4
Final
CHA 101
GSW 106
Final
UF 64
UNC 75
 
3rd
TULSA 17
ECU 28
 
Final
BOS 102
CHI 109
Final
CHA 101
GSW 106
Final
TOR 102
DAL 106
 
Final
DET 88
MIL 104
 
Final
ATL 100
NOP 91
 
Final
HOU 85
LAC 102
 
Final
OKC 105
NYK 78
 
Final
IND 98
ORL 83
 
Final
SAN 112
SAC 104
 
4th
DEN 99
PHO 70
 
2nd
POR 39
MEM 41
 
1st
LAL 21
MIN 15
 
Final
WMICH 21
NILL 31
Final
SMU 9
HOU 35
Final
IOWA 34
NEB 37
Final
SFLA 0
UCF 16
Final
MARS 66
WKENT 67
Final
KSU 27
AKR 24
Final
BGU 24
BST 41
Final
UMASS 21
BUF 41
Final
EMICH 16
TOL 52
Final
MIZZ 21
ARK 14
Final
SALABAMA 40
NAVY 42
Final
ARZ 42
ARST 35
Final
AFA 27
COLST 24
Final
UCLA 10
STAN 31
4th
VT 17
UVA 13
 
3rd
TULSA 17
ECU 28
 
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
Final
KU 82
TENN 67
Final
TEXAM 87
NO 65
 
Final
NCAT 57
RAD 65
 
Final
GEOR 58
BUT 64
Final
BRO 81
PVU 71
Final
RIU 66
SCU 44
Final
NARZ 70
SOUTH 63
Final
DART 68
MAST 67
Final
WRST 59
FIU 61
Final
XAV 73
UTEP 77
Final
OSU 73
JMU 56
Final
TXSOU 71
LAM 59
 
Final
TAMCC 75
MVSU 66
 
Final
AKAN 51
MIZST 55
Final
BUCK 80
PSU 88
 
Final
PROV 72
YALE 66
Final
UGA 62
MINN 66
Final
WISC 69
OKLA 56
Final
Terriers 70
NORST 72
 
Final
PEAY 62
STEPH 83
Final
FSU 58
CSOU 47
 
Final
VALPO 66
DRAK 46
Final
CIN 69
MTST 51
Final
SDU 75
PRIN 65
Final
WASU 76
RICE 74
Final
CSFU 64
USCU 79
Final
GT 61
RIDE 54
 
Final
TXPA 79
ALAST 91
Final
NCSU 60
BSU 54
Final
TCU 57
BRAD 49
 
Final
WAKE 65
DELST 72
 
Final
HART 83
EMERSON 50
 
Final
STJ 66
GONZ 73
Final
CLEM 62
HIGH 59
 
Final
SYR 72
HC 48
 
Final
MD 61
MON 56
Final
JVST 74
SAV 71
 
Final
MIAMI 87
SALA 75
Final
RUTG 68
VANDY 65
 
Final
PETE 66
TENST 58
 
Final
MARS 59
CLST 68
 
Final
JST 56
HOF 86
 
Final
INDST 62
MEM 72
 
Final
UF 64
UNC 75
 
Final
LATU 77
SAMF 64
 
Final
TULA 71
SELA 61
 
Final
NEB 75
TENNM 64
 
Final
MISS 75
CREI 68
 
Final
PORT 64
MURST 61
 
2nd
MARQ 62
MSU 68
 
2nd
ARK 74
UNT 63
 
Final
NCOL 82
STET 62
 
2nd
IND 79
UNCG 72
 
Final
SJST 60
WMICH 79
 
2nd
MNTST 97
TXARL 70
 
2nd
UVA 48
LAS 31
 
2nd
STLU 37
MSST 50
 
2nd
COLST 45
PAC 37
 
Half
UTAH 37
NDAK 26
 
1st
ILL 6
BAY 7
 
1st
UAB 7
UCLA 21
 
11:30pm Tonight
WASH
LBSU
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
MERC
Final
PHI 0
NYR 3
Final
ANA 1
CHI 4
Final
WAS 5
NYI 2
Final
PIT 2
CAR 4
Final
NJD 4
DET 5
 
Final
BUF 2
MON 1
 
Final
CLB 0
VAN 5
 
Final
BOS 2
WIN 1
 
Final
FLA 3
OTT 2
 
Final
STL 4
EDM 3
 
3rd
DAL 3
MIN 3