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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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Scoreboard
Local
2nd Intermission
CAR 1
MIN 1
 
4th
CHA 82
TOR 75
 
Final
STL 5
HOU 2
 
Final
BOS 3
MIA 5
 
Final
TAM 2
MIN 1
 
Final
PHI 1
NYY 4
 
Final
ATL 8
WAS 9
 
Final
TOR 5
BAL 4
 
Final
NYM 5
DET 4
Final
SDP 5
CWS 0
 
Final
CHC 2
CIN 5
 
Final
CLE 9
KAN 11
 
Final
MIL 1
LOS 10
 
Final
TEX 3
SFG 12
 
Final
LOS 7
SEA 4
 
Final
ANA 3
COL 0
 
Final
ARI 2
OAK 7
 
6th
NYY 0
PIT 3
 
4th
IND 70
CHI 68
 
4th
WAS 90
MIA 75
 
4th
ORL 97
SAC 93
 
4th
CHA 82
TOR 75
 
4th
PHI 55
UTA 64
 
Half
ATL 53
CLE 43
 
2nd
NOP 43
BOS 46
 
2nd
HOU 42
DET 38
 
2nd
MEM 39
LAL 36
 
2nd
BRK 31
PHO 33
 
1st
SAN 24
DEN 18
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
DAL
Final
MVSU 75
ARKPB 94
 
Final
CSOU 60
LONG 68
 
Final
WICHS 56
SILL 45
Final
RAD 66
WINT 67
 
Final
ILLST 71
EVAN 67
Final
HIGH 71
GWEBB 72
 
Final
UNCG 81
SAMF 76
 
Final
ELON 74
TOWS 69
 
2nd
KSU 70
AKR 67
 
2nd
BUF 61
BGU 59
 
2nd
DART 61
BRO 65
 
2nd
WMICH 63
CMICH 53
 
2nd
PENN 46
CLMB 37
 
2nd
PRIN 59
CORN 51
 
2nd
OU 59
ILLCH 62
 
Final
OHIO 95
UMO 65
 
2nd
BST 42
NILL 45
 
2nd
EMICH 75
TOL 53
 
2nd
NIOWA 68
BRAD 43
 
2nd
MURST 47
MORE 42
 
Half
HARV 19
YALE 22
 
1st
DREX 7
COC 5
 
1st
CITA 11
FUR 14
 
8:55pm Tonight
CCAR
UNCA
 
9:00pm Tonight
USF
PAC
9:00pm Tonight
BAY
TTU
9:30pm Tonight
EKENT
BEL
9:30pm Tonight
CLST
DET
9:35pm Tonight
INDST
LOYC
11:30pm Tonight
SCU
LMU
2nd Intermission
NJD 1
CLB 3
 
2nd Intermission
CAR 1
MIN 1
 
2nd
OTT 1
BUF 2
 
2nd
DET 2
CAL 3
 
1st
CHI 0
EDM 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
PIT