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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, March 22nd (All times Eastern)

Tampa Bay Lightning (39-24-7) at Pittsburgh Penguins (45-19-5), 1 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning have a chance to post their longest winning streak of the season on Saturday afternoon, but in order to do so they will need to snap a lengthy slide to the division-leading Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Lightning have won five in a row for the second time this season, giving them a two-point edge over the third-place Montreal Canadiens in the Atlantic Division with a game in hand. The Bolts are also five points ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who host the Habs tonight, but a distant 16 points back of the first-place Boston Bruins.

Tampa will try to further secure that second spot, but will need to snap an eight-game series losing streak to Pittsburgh. That includes a pair of setbacks this season at home and the Bolts have lost six straight in Pittsburgh.

Of course, none of these streaks include the 2011 Eastern Conference quarterfinals, when the Lightning bested the Penguins in seven games.

Tampa Bay kept rolling with Thursday's 5-4 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Eric Brewer and Ryan Callahan both scored third-period goals, with Callahan giving his club a two-goal lead at the 11:58 mark.

However, the forward spent the final 56 seconds in the penalty box after getting called for slashing, a penalty that came not long after the Sens scored to make it a one-goal game.

Teddy Purcell snapped a 19-game goal drought by lighting the lamp just 23 seconds in and added a second tally later in the contest. Valtteri Filppula also scored to match a career high with his 23rd goal of the season, one that extended his point streak to seven games (3 goals, 8 assists).

Ben Bishop made 27 saves to win in his 100th NHL game.

"We keep getting goals from different players and we've buckled down on defense when we've needed to," said Lightning head coach Jon Cooper.

The Lightning have not won six straight since a seven-game win streak from Jan. 17-Feb. 4, 2012 and Bishop is just 0-2-0 with a 4.43 goals against average in his career versus the Penguins.

Pittsburgh has lost three of its last four games, and though it has a comfortable edge for first place in the Metropolitan Division, the club sits six points behind the Bruins for the top seed in the East.

The Penguins did earn a point in Thursday's 5-4 overtime setback to the Detroit Red Wings, but felt disappointed to miss out on the second point. That is because Pittsburgh failed to score during a five-minute power play that bridged the end of the third period and overtime and then saw Detroit score the game-winner with just 0.4 seconds on the clock.

Detroit had spent the final 3:46 of regulation and first 1:14 of overtime a man down after David Legwand was given a major and game misconduct for jamming Evgeni Malkin with the butt end of his stick in front of the net.

Then, with time winding down, a turnover in the Detroit end saw the Red Wings go the other way on a 3-on-1. Skating down the right wing, Daniel Alfredsson let fly with a shot that Marc-Andre Fleury stopped, but the rebound came out front, went off Pittsburgh's Rob Scuderi and made it into the net just before the final buzzer.

"We got down again and answered with a big goal in the third," said Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma. "We had that power play, the five-minute major from the butt end, and we should have been able to put it away but they killed it off."

Malkin scored twice with Lee Stempniak and Craig Adams also lighting the lamp for the Penguins. Fleury stopped 25 shots in the loss.

Pittsburgh will play four straight and six of its next seven at home, where it is 25-5-2 on the season.

Fleury is 15-10-3 with a 2.39 goals against average and two shutouts in his career versus the Lightning.

03/22 10:30:25 ET

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Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
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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
 
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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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CHI 108
OKC 105
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POR 94
DAL 75
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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
 
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LAMON 50
UGST 58
 
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ODU 67
MARS 50
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TXSA 74
RICE 76
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FAM 64
SAV 57
 
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LATU 72
SMISS 61
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JST 72
ALAAM 54
 
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GRAM 46
ALAST 78
 
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TXSOU 94
ALCOR 73
 
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NICST 77
CARK 70
 
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TAMCC 85
HOUB 72
 
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NARZ 58
PORST 51
 
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LAM 61
SHSU 67
 
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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
 
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INCWORD 64
ABCHRIST 52
 
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MVSU 0
ARKPB 0
 
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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
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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
 
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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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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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PIT