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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
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
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CAR
MIN
 
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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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SAC
 
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LAL
 
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DAL
 
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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
 
Final
LAMON 50
UGST 58
 
Final
ODU 67
MARS 50
Final
TXSA 74
RICE 76
Final
FAM 64
SAV 57
 
Final
LATU 72
SMISS 61
Final
JST 72
ALAAM 54
 
Final
GRAM 46
ALAST 78
 
Final
TXSOU 94
ALCOR 73
 
Final
NICST 77
CARK 70
 
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TAMCC 85
HOUB 72
 
Final
NARZ 58
PORST 51
 
Final
LAM 61
SHSU 67
 
Final
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
 
Final
INCWORD 64
ABCHRIST 52
 
9:00pm Thursday
MVSU 0
ARKPB 0
 
Final
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
Final
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
 
Final
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
GWEBB
 
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UNCG
SAMF
 
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ELON
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KSU
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BUF
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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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BUF
 
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CAL
 
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CHI
EDM
 
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PIT