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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, February 4th (All times Eastern)

Tampa Bay Lightning (32-18-5) at Minnesota Wild (29-21-7), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Wild will play two straight games at home leading into the Olympic break, beginning with Tuesday night's contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Wild return home following a 1-1-2 road trip. They are just 10-14-5 as the visiting club this season compared to 19-7-2 at home.

Minnesota got goals from Dany Heatley and Keith Ballard inside of 10 minutes left in the third period on Saturday versus Calgary to force overtime before falling 4-3 to the Flames.

Matt Cooke scored shorthanded and Darcy Kuemper made 28 saves in his 10th start in a row. He gave up the winner 2:25 into overtime on a rebound.

"It's a big point, no question, but starts have cost us the last two games," Heatley said. "We've got to take the points right now, but the start of this trip was a tough trip, a lot of travel, some good teams. We'll take four but we would've liked six, I think."

With 65 points, the Wild are two points ahead of the Vancouver Canucks for seventh place in the Western Conference, but now trail third-place Colorado by 12 points in the Central Division.

Mikael Granlund and Zach Parise both had assists in Saturday's loss to keep up their hot stretches. Granlund has two goals and six helpers over a five-game point streak, while Parise has three goals and eight points in his last three games.

Kuemper will make the start again tonight and has never faced the Lightning.

Tampa Bay will try to close out a four-game road trip even after besting the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in overtime on Saturday. Nate Thompson scored twice, including the winner with 23.1 seconds left on the clock.

Victor Hedman collected a carom off the end boards and dished to the slot for Thompson, who slid the puck past Carey Price's left pad and inside the right post.

"The first one I got was a lucky bounce and the other one was a great play by Hedman. I shot it as hard as I could and it went in," said Thompson.

Hedman had two assists, giving him 10 points in his past five games, while Ben Bishop made 28 saves in the win. He was able to make the start despite exiting Thursday's game early after getting hit on the head by the skate of teammate Nikita Kucherov.

The Lightning had dropped the first two stops of their road trip, but have won 10 of their last 14 as the guest. That has helped them stay within four points of first-place Boston in the Atlantic Division.

Bishop is likely to start tonight and made 25 saves in a 3-1 home win over the Wild on Oct. 17. That was his first ever meeting with the club.

Tampa Bay has lost five of its past seven in Minnesota.

The Lightning have been without star center Steven Stamkos since he suffered a broken leg on Nov. 11, but the Olympic hopeful practiced on Monday and is hopeful to return by week's end.

Minnesota, meanwhile, could have defenseman Jared Spurgeon back in the lineup tonight for the first time in 15 games. He has been out with a lower-body ailment.

02/04 10:52:32 ET

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7:00pm Tonight
CAR
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Final
ORL 100
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Final
LAL 123
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7:00pm Tonight
PHI
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7:30pm Tonight
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10:30pm Tonight
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Final
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Final
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MSU 71
Final
ARMY 71
BU 67
 
Final
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BRY 68
 
Final
MERC 75
CHAT 72
 
Final
LIU 67
CCST 55
 
Final
TOWS 74
COC 70
 
Final
UMASS 66
DAY 64
Final
FUR 59
ETST 55
 
Final
ODU 71
FIU 56
Final
RMU 87
FD 65
 
Final
CHAR 86
FATL 61
Final
LIB 53
HIGH 72
 
Final
UNF 86
KNST 67
 
Final
FLGC 78
LIP 62
 
Final
OSU 80
MD 56
Final
Terriers 73
MNTER 67
 
Final
STET 85
NKENTUCKY 75
 
Final
WAGN 75
SHU 64
 
Final
GMAS 68
STLU 60
Final
JVU 65
USCU 78
 
Final
VMI 70
WCU 85
 
Final
LATU 69
WKENT 56
Final
UNCG 42
WOFF 58
 
Final
DET 93
YOUNG 87
 
Final
GSOUT 83
APP 46
 
Final
TENNM 81
EILL 51
 
Final
GHND 64
HC 54
 
Final
CIN 70
UCONN 58
Final
NDST 61
DEN 54
 
Final
SD 55
MAST 66
 
Final
UWMIL 71
ILLCH 65
 
Final
BEL 103
JVST 82
 
Final
SMISS 54
MARS 69
Final
TXSA 69
MTST 58
Final
PETE 49
RIDE 58
 
Final
SEMIZ 61
SIUE 75
 
Final
TENST 64
TENT 56
 
Final
NDAK 60
WEBER 67
 
Final
SALA 89
LALAF 85
 
Final
ARKST 65
ARKLR 75
 
Final
TROY 55
LAMON 58
 
Final
TXARL 74
UGST 88
 
Final
MURST 85
EKENT 78
 
Final
NCOL 79
IDST 76
 
Final
MIZZ 53
KENT 69
Final
GONZ 64
PORT 46
Final
UTEP 71
UAB 69
Final
GRCN 78
UMKC 57
 
Final
WLVRN 78
CHIST 62
 
Final
USC 94
COL 98
Final
UCI 67
CPSL 57
 
Final
CSNO 73
HAW 84
 
Final
PAC 43
PEPP 50
 
Final
SDU 69
SCU 64
 
Final
UCD 70
UCSB 64
 
Final
UCLA 69
UTAH 59
Final
PORST 54
MONT 73
 
Final
SACST 75
MNTST 59
 
Final
CSFU 85
LBSU 91
 
Final
GAELS 68
LMU 54
 
Final
WASU 67
CAL 76
Final
BYU 78
USF 74
 
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7:00pm Tonight
CORN
BRO
 
7:00pm Tonight
PENN
DART
 
7:00pm Tonight
NIAG
MAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAN
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7:00pm Tonight
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8:00pm Tonight
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8:00pm Tonight
FAIR
MON
 
8:00pm Tonight
ARST
OREG
8:00pm Tonight
CLMB
YALE
 
10:00pm Tonight
BUF
KSU
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARZ
ORST
Final
NYI 2
BOS 5
Final
NYR 0
MON 1
Final
PHI 5
WIN 2
Final
TOR 1
ARI 3
Final
FLA 3
CLB 2
Final
TAM 5
DET 1
Final
STL 5
NAS 4
Final
CAL 0
MIN 1
Final
SJS 6
ANA 3
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
PIT
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
STL
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
NAS
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
BUF
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CHI