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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, December 21st (All times Eastern)

Carolina Hurricanes (14-14-7) at Tampa Bay Lightning (21-11-3), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to match their longest winning streak of the season when they host the Carolina Hurricanes in Saturday's battle in Central Florida.

With recent wins over Detroit, the New York Islanders and Nashville, the Lightning have notched their fourth three-game winning streak of the season and the first since Tampa rattled off a season-best four consecutive victories from Nov. 1-9. It also marks the longest winning streak for the Bolts since star centerman Steven Stamkos went down to a broken leg on Nov. 11.

After beating the Red Wings and Islanders on the road, the Lightning returned home to defeat the Predators by a 4-2 score in Thursday's matchup at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Alex Killorn had one goal and an assist to lead the Bolts Lightning to a 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

Martin St. Louis, Teddy Purcell and Richard Panik also tallied for the Lightning. Anders Lindback made 28 saves in the win and improved to 3-6-1 this season.

"Lindback deserves better from us. He and (Ben) Bishop have been A and A- plus," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "Hopefully we can continue to give him goal support because he's played better than his record."

Bishop expects to get the call in net tonight. He is 2-0 with two shutouts in his career against the Hurricanes and stopped all 31 shots sent his way when Tampa downed Carolina by a 3-0 score on Nov. 1 in Raleigh.

The Lightning, who are 13-3-1 as the host this season, have won five of their last six encounters against Carolina, but the clubs have split the last eight tilts in Tampa.

Carolina, meanwhile, has lost four of its last five games and was handed a 4-2 setback by the visiting Washington Capitals on Friday. Alex Ovechkin scored his 400th career goal late in the third period, and the Caps went 3-for-4 on the power play en route to the victory at PNC Arena.

Cam Ward stopped 25 shots for Carolina, which failed to produce an equalizer despite a pair of third-period power plays. The Hurricanes went 1-for-5 with the man advantage on the night.

"They got a potent power play and obviously it was the big difference tonight," said Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller.

Carolina, which is 7-7-3 on the road this season, will follow this game in Tampa by playing three of its next four on home ice.

12/21 10:56:02 ET

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