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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, February 23rd (All times Eastern)

Tampa Bay Lightning (8-7-1) at Carolina Hurricanes (8-6-1), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Carolina Hurricanes will try to avoid losing a third straight game for the first time this season when they host the rival Tampa Bay Lightning in Saturday's Southeast Division battle at PNC Arena.

The Hurricanes have lost two straight in regulation, matching the 0-2-0 slide that began their season. Both setbacks have come without the services of forward Jeff Skinner, who is out with a concussion suffered on Feb. 14 against Toronto.

Skinner is considered day-to-day and is expected to miss Saturday's game. He did participate in the morning skate on Saturday, but was donning a yellow, non-contact jersey.

Carolina's most recent setback came Thursday night against the visiting Winnipeg Jets. Blake Wheeler scored the game-winning goal with just under five minutes left to lift the Jets to the 4-3 decision. Wheeler's decisive goal came just 16 seconds after Carolina's Jiri Tlusty tallied to tie the game at 3-3.

"We have to do a better job," Tlusty said. "We didn't execute after the goal we scored and that was the big key."

Tlusty notched a pair of goals and Jordan Staal added another for the Hurricanes, who had won three straight before the current skid. Cam Ward stopped 19 shots in the setback.

The loss dropped Carolina's home record to 3-3-0 this season.

In addition to Skinner, the Hurricanes are also without defenseman Jamie McBain, who is expected to miss 1-to-2 weeks with an unspecified upper body injury. McBain suffered the injury in Monday's 3-0 loss at Montreal.

After ending a six-game slide with consecutive wins, the Lightning were back on the losing end in their last outing, Thursday's 4-2 loss to visiting Boston. The game was the first meeting of the season between the Bruins and Lightning as a Feb. 9 contest in Boston was postponed due to a blizzard. That game will be made up on April 25.

Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, while Cory Conacher also lit the lamp. Anders Lindback stopped 22-of-26 shots in defeat.

"Our players definitely competed today, although this was probably the most intense game all year by far," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said. "That (Boston) was a great team out there, and the way they played, that's why they've only lost two games."

Beginning with Saturday's test, Tampa is playing six of its next seven games on the road. The Lightning are 2-4-0 as the guest so far this season.

One of Tampa Bay's two road wins came at Carolina, as the Bolts notched a 4-1 win in Raleigh on Jan. 22. Mathieu Garon stopped 35-of-36 shots sent his way by the Hurricanes in that game.

Tampa has won two straight and five of its last six games at Carolina and has claimed seven of the past 11 encounters overall.

02/23 10:49:47 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ORL 83
CHA 98
8:00pm Tonight
SAV
NCCU
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
CAR
 
Final
PHI 2
UTA 6
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
FIU
 
1:05pm Today
DET
FLASO
 
Final
HOU 105
CLE 103
Final
ORL 83
CHA 98
Final
BOS 101
GSW 106
Final
IND 94
PHI 74
Final
SAC 99
POR 110
Final
LAL 101
OKC 108
Final
DEN 92
NOP 99
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
GSW
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
PHO
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LAC
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
NOP
 
Final
NIAG 57
FAIR 56
 
Final
PETE 68
IONA 60
 
Final
RIDE 59
MAR 49
 
Final
MAN 69
QUIN 65
 
Final
UCONN 81
SMU 73
Final
CAL 73
ORST 56
Final
HOU 72
SFLA 55
Final
PROV 77
MARQ 66
Final
WISC 68
MSU 61
Final
MON 63
SIENA 57
 
Final
WAKE 69
PITT 66
Final
STAN 70
OREG 73
Final
OSU 65
PURD 61
Final
COL 87
ARST 81
Final
UCLA 72
WASU 67
7:00pm Tonight
TEX
BAY
 
7:00pm Tonight
SYR
UVA
 
7:30pm Tonight
NCAT
COOK
 
7:30pm Tonight
SHSU
CARK
 
7:30pm Tonight
DELST
HAMP
 
7:30pm Tonight
HOW
NORST
 
7:30pm Tonight
NWST
SELA
 
8:00pm Tonight
STEPH
INCWORD
 
8:00pm Tonight
MCNST
LAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAV
NCCU
 
8:00pm Tonight
NO
NICST
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARKPB
JST
 
8:30pm Tonight
ALAST
PVU
 
8:30pm Tonight
ALAAM
TXSOU
 
9:00pm Tonight
VT
BC
 
9:00pm Tonight
MVSU
GRAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
ISU
OKLA
 
Final
WIN 5
LOS 2
Final
PIT 5
CLB 3
Final
FLA 4
TAM 3
Final
WAS 4
TOR 0
Final
DAL 1
ANA 3
Final
VAN 6
STL 5
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
NAS
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
CAR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
MON