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LIGHTNING (38-24-7) vs. SENATORS (28-27-13)
SUN; AM 970 WFLA
Tampa Bay 5-3-2; Ottawa 2-6-2
Tampa Bay looks to take care of business for the first time in Ottawa this year after losing 5-3 at Canadian Tire Centre during their first visit in January. However the Lightning still hold the edge in the season series, winning two out of three in the five-game set.
Head coach Jon Cooper called picking up points on this trip "paramount" and as they continue to do just that. The Bolts have now collected points in six straight contests, and find themselves tied for second in the Atlantic Division with Montreal, with one game in hand on the Canadiens.
LIGHTNING – The Lightning had been struggling with the power play for better parts of the 2013-14 campaign, but the Bolts have seem to come back to life on the man advantage since Steven Stamkos' return from injury. Tampa Bay not only had two power-play goals Wednesday, they have amassed four over their last four games. Three of those power-play tallies have come from Stamkos.
Allowing late goals seems to be their biggest issue, Tampa Bay thinks it is an easy fix. The Maple Leafs came within one goal with less than 12 minutes remaining in the third, but a power play goal by Tyler Johnson negated any Toronto comeback. Goaltender Ben Bishop has returned to his pre-Olympic break self and has won four straight for the first time since mid-December.
Thursday's matchup against Ottawa is the Bolts' second game of back-to-backs and middle game of a three-game road swing.
SENATORS – The Senators continue to play desperate hockey as their odds of earning a postseason berth grow slimmer and slimmer. Dropping four straight contests and six out of their last seven, Ottawa suffered an 8-4 loss in their latest game to the New York Rangers Tuesday.
The Senators held a 2-1 lead after the first period in the game with goals from Mike Hoffman and Mika Zibanejad, but then suffered four unanswered tallies at the hands of the Rangers in the middle frame, which they were never able to recover from.
As it stands now Ottawa is seven points out of the last Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Though Stamkos did not earn his first points since returning to the lineup until his fourth game back, he has recorded seven points since. Valtteri Filppula also extended his point streak to six games with two assists Wednesday.
Lightning – D Brian Lee (Knee, Out); Senators – G Craig Anderson (upper body injury, day-to-day)
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