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GAME: Tampa Bay Lightning (29-21-4) at New York Islanders (24-26-3).
TIME: Monday, 7 p.m. EST.
Tampa Bay goaltender John Grahame is showing why he was selected to represent the United States later this month at the Turin Olympics.
Grahame - who has posted shutouts his last three wins - is expected in net when the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning meet the New York Islanders.
The Lightning have won the last five meetings between the teams, including the final three games of the 2004 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal round.
Grahame, a backup to Nikolai Khabibulin during Tampa Bay's championship run, has stopped all 69 shots he has faced in his last three wins including a 29-save performance Saturday in the Lightning's 5-0 win over the Washington Capitals.
"I just think, 'No mistakes! No mistakes! Give this team a chance to win,"' Grahame said.
Since a four-game losing streak in mid-December, Grahame has gone 6-3-0 with a 1.79 goals-against average.
His five shutouts this season tie him with Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils and Dominik Hasek of the Ottawa Senators for second in the NHL. Miikka Kiprusoff of the Calgary Flames has six.
Brad Richards scored twice in the win over Washington. He has four goals and nine assists his last 14 games against the Islanders, including the playoffs.
Tampa Bay is expected to have Vincent Lecavalier back in the lineup. Lecavalier, whose 21 goals rank second on the team, sat out the win over Washington with an upper body injury.
The Islanders, meanwhile, look for their fifth win in six games.
In a 5-4 win Saturday over the Pittsburgh Penguins, Miroslav Satan collected three power-play goals and scored the eventual game-winner in the shootout.
Satan has 13 goals and 13 assists in 32 games against the Lightning in his career.
Rick DiPietro - Grahame's Olympic teammate - made 40 saves, including 18 in the third period and overtime, and stopped both shootout attempts.
"Pittsburgh really came at us hard, had us scrambling there," DiPietro said. "They crowded the net, too. There were a lot of shots I didn't see."
DiPietro is 2-3-0 with a 2.14 GAA in his career against the Lightning. At home, he is 1-1-0 with a 1.85 GAA and a shutout against them.
New York is in 12th place in the conference, but just six points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the eighth and final playoff spot.
STANDINGS: Lightning - 62 points, 2nd place, 18 PB, Southeast Division. Islanders - 51 points, 4th place, 21 PB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Lightning - Fredrik Modin, 22 goals; Vaclav Prospal, 38 assists and 56 points; Pavel Kubina, 76 PIM. Islanders - Satan, 23 goals; Mike York, 29 assists; Alexei Yashin, 45 points; Arron Asham, 90 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Lightning - Power play: 14.4 percent (46 for 320), 28th in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.8 percent (218 for 260), 11th. Islanders - Power play: 17.9 percent (55 for 307), 12th. Penalty killing: 78.1 percent (261 for 334), 29th.
GOALTENDERS: Lightning - Grahame (20-15-1, 5 SO, 2.60 GAA); Sean Burke (9-5-3, 1, 2.49). Islanders - DiPietro (18-16-3, 3.46); Wade Dubielewicz (2-3-0, 2.90).
SEASON SERIES: Lightning, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Jan. 2; Lightning, 2-1. At Uniondale, N.Y., Lecavalier beat Garth Snow on a penalty shot in the first period and Martin St. Louis had a short-handed breakaway goal with 4:57 remaining in the third for Tampa Bay.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Lightning - 14-12-2 on the road; Islanders - 12-13-1 at home.
|Mar 19 '06||NYI 2 at TBL 5|
|Feb 06 '06||TBL 3 at NYI 2 - OT|
|Jan 02 '06||TBL 2 at NYI 1|
|Nov 17 '05||NYI 2 at TBL 3|
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