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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, December 23rd (All times Eastern)

Tampa Bay Lightning (22-11-3) at Florida Panthers (14-18-5), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning hope to continue playing well without star centerman Steven Stamkos, as the Bolts shoot for a season-best fifth consecutive win when they visit the Florida Panthers in Monday's Atlantic Division battle at BB&T Center.

The Lightning tied a season-high winning streak by picking up a fourth straight victory in Saturday's home triumph over Carolina. Tampa Bay previously won four in a row from Nov. 1-9, but that streak ended on Nov. 11 at Boston in the same game that saw Stamkos suffer a broken right leg.

Not counting the 3-0 loss in Boston on Nov. 11, the Lightning have managed to go 10-6-3 with Stamkos out of the lineup, and with 47 points, the club is tied for second in the Atlantic with Montreal.

Stamkos, a two-time winner of the Maurice Richard Trophy as the league's top goal-scorer, has begun skating lightly, but is still sidelined indefinitely. He is still second on Tampa Bay with 14 goals this season despite sitting out the last 19 games.

The Lightning rallied for an overtime win Saturday against the visiting Hurricanes. Carolina carried a 2-1 lead into the third period, but Martin St. Louis evened the game with a power-play goal with 12:04 left in regulation and Radko Gudas scored 2:16 into overtime to lift Tampa to the 3-2 decision.

Gudas potted his second goal of the year after skating into the Carolina end and unleashing a rising shot that beat Justin Peters high to the glove side from the right circle. Right before the goal, Gudas muscled Carolina's Jeff Skinner into the boards, but no penalty was called. Nate Thompson then delivered the outlet pass that had Gudas break into the offensive zone unchallenged.

Victor Hedman scored in the first period for Tampa Bay, which improved to 6-1-0 against Carolina since the beginning of the 2012-13 season.

"We just had to keep shooting pucks. We knew sooner than later it was going to go in," Hedman said.

Ben Bishop made 25 saves for the Lightning and improved to 19-5-2 on the season.

Bishop expects to get the call tonight and is 2-0 with a 1.15 goals against average in two career games against the Panthers. He made 19 saves when the Lightning torched Florida 7-2 in Tampa on Oct. 10, while Anders Lindback recorded the victory in a 4-3 road win versus the Panthers on Oct. 27.

With a 2-0 start against the Panthers in this season's series, Tampa has won nine of the last 11 encounters overall. Florida has lost five straight on the road in this series.

Florida had won a season-high five straight games before getting dealt a 5-2 setback Friday night in Winnipeg. Evander Kane, Jacob Trouba and Michael Frolik each had a goal and an assist to help the Jets cool off the Panthers, who lost the finale of a four-game road trip.

The Panthers received goals from Shawn Matthias and Nick Bjugstad in the loss, while Jacob Markstrom finished with 27 saves.

With Tim Thomas still out with a lower-body injury, Scott Clemmensen expects to get the start in net for the Panthers on Monday. Clemmensen is 5-3-1 with a 3.17 GAA in 11 career games (9 starts) against Tampa Bay.

12/23 11:04:11 ET

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Schedule

Saturday, April 19Full Scoreboard
Chicago 4/19 3:00 PM ET
St. Louis NBC, CBC, RDS
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. St. Louis leads series, 1-0.
Columbus 4/19 7:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh NBCSN, CBC, FSN-OH, ROOT
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Pittsburgh leads series, 1-0.
Minnesota 4/19 9:30 PM ET
Colorado NBCSN, TSN, Altitude
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Colorado leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MLB: Atlanta Braves at NY Mets

    Tonight at 7:05 on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Tomorrow at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
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NOR
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1:05pm Today
WAS
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1:05pm Today
CLE
TOR
1:08pm Today
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1:35pm Today
BOS
BAL
2:10pm Today
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MIN
2:20pm Today
CHC
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4:05pm Today
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7:05pm Tonight
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7:10pm Tonight
NYM
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8:05pm Tonight
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8:10pm Tonight
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ARI
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PHI
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
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12:30pm Today
TOR
BRK
3:30pm Today
LAC
GSW
7:00pm Tonight
IND
ATL
9:30pm Tonight
OKC
MEM
3:00pm Today
STL
CHI
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
9:30pm Tonight
COL
MIN
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR