The Tampa Bay Lightning completed the first half of the 2011-12 season by reeling off four straight victories. The Washington Capitals will attempt to put an end to that winning streak in front of a nationally-televised audience Tuesday night.
The Caps -- who sit atop the Southeast Division with 55 points, will visit the Lightning at the Tampa Bay Times Forum as the NHL returns from the All-Star break with a mammoth 13-game schedule. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and can be seen on the NBC Sports Network in the United States and TSN2 in Canada.
Five games begin at 7 p.m. ET. The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils resume their cross-river rivalry at the Prudential Center, while the Boston Bruins host the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden. Also, the Winnipeg Jets are in Philadelphia to face the Flyers, while the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Thirty minutes later, the Montreal Canadiens will face the Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Centre. The Habs will be seeking their third straight win.
At 8 p.m. ET, the Nashville Predators will go for their fifth consecutive win as they battle the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. The Wild closed out the first half with back-to-back victories and hold a one-point lead on Colorado for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Two more games get under way at 9 p.m. ET -- the Detroit Red Wings face the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome, while the Phoenix Coyotes host the Anaheim Ducks at Jobing.com Arena.
In the final two games of the evening, the Avalanche face the Edmonton Oilers at Rexcall Place (9:30 p.m. ET), while the Vancouver Canucks host the Chicago Blackhawks at Rogers Arena at 10 p.m. ET.