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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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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
 
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0
 
Final
KAN 2
DET 3
Final
CHC 8
LOS 7
Final
OAK 0
PHI 3
Final
NYY 3
TOR 6
Final
COL 5
ARI 1
Final
BAL 7
BOS 2
9th
PIT 0
MIL 1
 
Final
TAM 3
CWS 1
 
7th
MIN 2
CLE 7
 
Final
ATL 2
NYM 4
 
Final
HOU 10
SEA 1
Final
MIA 2
WAS 3
 
Final
STL 8
CIN 4
 
6th
SDP 3
SFG 0
 
5th
ANA 5
TEX 0
 
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
Final
AKR 17
MARS 48
Final
WAKE 24
ARMY 21
Final
KU 24
CMICH 10
Final
ALA 42
UF 21
Final
FIU 3
LOU 34
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
 
Final
NAVY 24
RUTG 31
Final
SMU 6
TEXAM 58
Final
MICH 10
UTAH 26
Final
BYU 41
UVA 33
Final
WYO 20
FATL 19
Final
MIZZ 27
IND 31
Final
PSU 48
UMASS 7
Final
MINN 24
SJST 7
Final
ILL 42
TXST 35
 
Final
WASH 45
GASTATE 14
Final
SMISS 21
APPST 20
 
2nd
TOL 20
BST 6
 
Final
OHIO 36
IDAHO 24
 
Final
CIN 31
UMO 24
 
Final
MEM 36
MTST 17
 
4th
LSU 22
MSST 34
 
Final
ARK 52
NILL 14
 
1st OT
ARKST 14
UTST 14
 
4th
SALABAMA 6
GASO 28
 
3rd
WVU 27
OKLA 38
 
4th
VANDY 24
SCAR 34
 
3rd
NEB 31
MIAMI 21
 
3rd
NMST 28
NMU 24
 
3rd
HOU 30
UNLV 7
 
3rd
FSU 10
CLEM 10
 
1st
ARZ 0
CAL 14
 
10:30pm Tonight
ORST
SDST
10:36pm Tonight
WASU
OREG
10:40pm Tonight
BSU
LALAF
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0