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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, March 20th (All times Eastern)

Tampa Bay Lightning (38-24-7) at Ottawa Senators (28-27-13), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to match their longest winning streak of the season on Thursday night as they visit the struggling Ottawa Senators.

The Lightning have followed up a five-game losing streak by winning four straight, including Wednesday's big divisional meeting with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Steven Stamkos notched a natural hat trick in the 5-3 victory, giving him five goals in his last four games. The forward has 19 goals and 30 points in just 24 games this season, having missed time with a broken leg.

Stamkos had a solid homecoming, posting his second hat trick of the season and seventh of his career.

"There might have been a little extra energy coming back home and playing this game in front of family and friends," Stamkos, a native of nearby Markham, Ontario said. "Especially with the magnitude of the game and how tight we are in the playoff race."

Radko Gudas and Tyler Johnson had goals, Ryan Malone and Valtteri Filppula notched two assists each and Ben Bishop came up with 36 saves, including 21 in the third period.

The game did see a scary incident in the final seconds of the first period when Tampa forward Alex Killorn was issued a major for boarding and a game misconduct for a hit on Leafs defenseman Paul Ranger.

Ranger was immobilized and removed from the arena on a stretcher. He was taken to a local hospital for observation, and the Leafs stated later that Ranger was in stable condition, conscious and alert.

"Pretty unfortunate," Killorn said. "Happy that he is OK. I heard through the PR and stuff that he is doing all right now. It's kind of a scary moment, one of those plays where I commit to hit someone without knowing if they are going to turn, so it's just an unfortunate play."

The victory moved the Lightning into a tie with the Montreal Canadiens for second place in the Atlantic Division with 83 points. That is three ahead of the fourth-place Maple Leafs.

While Tampa Bay seeks to match a season-high five-game win streak set from Dec. 15-23, Ottawa will by hoping to avoid going five straight games without a victory for the first time since a 0-3-2 drought from Oct. 25-Nov. 3.

Ottawa is 0-2-2 in its last four games and sits seven points back of the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Senators lost their fourth in a row at home with Tuesday's 8-4 setback to the New York Rangers. Both Ottawa goaltenders struggled, with starter Robin Lehner stopping just 23-of-28 shots in his third straight start. Nathan Lawson made 10-of-12 saves in relief during the third period before exiting with an injury and forcing Lehner back into the game.

Mike Hoffman, Mika Zibanejad, Milan Michalek and Bobby Ryan all had goals for the Senators.

"I think we're generating some offense but, again, we're turning over the puck and putting our goalie in a tough spot and they haven't been able to make the save," said Senators coach Paul MacLean. "We have to work to get open, we have to play for one another and we have to find them when they're open."

With No. 1 goaltender Craig Anderson still out with a bruised left shoulder and Lawson now day-to-day with a lower-body issue, the Senators recalled netminder Andrew Hammond from the minors.

The Senators lost their first two meetings with the Lightning this season, both in Tampa, before handing the Bolts a fifth straight loss in Ottawa with a 5-3 decision on Jan. 30.

Ryan and Kyle Turris both had a goal and an assist, while Anderson made 35 saves.

Both Bishop and Filppula suffered injuries in that meeting for the Lighting.

03/20 10:54:31 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UWGB 66
ECU 49
4th
CHA 88
LAC 102
 
4th
CHA 88
LAC 102
 
4th
CLE 102
ORL 74
 
4th
PHI 101
POR 111
 
3rd
TOR 76
PHO 66
 
Half
HOU 51
NYK 46
 
2nd
DAL 34
IND 34
 
1st
UTA 0
CHI 7
 
Final
UWGB 66
ECU 49
Final
WEBER 59
NEV 56
Final
FRES 52
EVAN 58
Final
KYST 88
PURD 79
Final
LSU 61
CLEM 64
Final
ALCOR 95
DILL 73
 
Final
CHIST 46
UGST 69
Final
DET 69
MDES 55
 
Final
ARZ 72
MIZZ 53
 
Final
INDST 61
PEAY 57
 
Final
FLGC 58
MAR 43
 
Final
LALAF 52
UWMIL 56
 
Final
ODU 58
GWEBB 46
 
Final
MD 78
ARST 73
 
Final
TOL 92
BUCK 65
 
Final
JMU 77
COL 71
 
2nd
WINT 65
ETST 64
 
Final
GSOUT 78
FIU 72
 
Final
BST 88
GRAM 46
 
2nd
APP 79
HAMP 67
 
Final
MAST 89
JVU 71
 
Final
XAV 89
MURST 62
 
Final
WAKE 75
NICST 48
 
Final
MSU 79
SCU 52
 
Final
LOU 87
SAV 26
 
Final
TENT 81
SELA 62
 
Final
VCU 53
VILL 77
 
2nd OT
OU 77
WCU 80
 
2nd
IND 63
EWASH 59
 
2nd
ILL 44
BRO 37
 
2nd
MSST 36
CLAYST 23
 
2nd
BEL 44
LIP 31
 
2nd
TCU 65
MVSU 25
 
2nd
IOWA 39
PEPP 33
 
2nd
MEM 43
PVU 27
 
2nd
KU 54
RIDE 26
 
2nd
BAY 35
STEPH 27
 
2nd
INCWORD 66
A 51
 
1st
USF 21
HAW 26
 
1st
OKST 25
ORST 22
 
1st
WYO 11
FAM 4
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
YALE
 
1st
CHAM 4
PITT 6
 
1st
ILLST 4
SHU 6
 
1st
NMST 11
STET 10
 
9:30pm Tonight
ISU
ALA
9:30pm Tonight
SDKST
CHADRON
 
9:30pm Tonight
NCOL
CCHR
 
9:30pm Tonight
OREG
MICH
10:00pm Tonight
SDU
WMICH
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
SIUE
11:00pm Tonight
AUB
TULSA
11:30pm Tonight
SDST
BYU
3rd
NYI 0
PHI 0
 
3rd
BOS 2
PIT 2
 
2nd Intermission
FLA 1
MIN 3
 
2nd
DET 3
OTT 1
 
3rd
BUF 31
NYJ 3
 
1st
NOS 7
BAL 7