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Lightning-Bruins Preview @NHLdotcom
Lightning-Bruins Preview

GAME: Tampa Bay Lightning (21-18-3) at Boston Bruins (15-19-6).

TIME: Saturday, 5 p.m. EST.

The Boston Bruins look to avoid losing at home to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the first time in nearly 12 years when the teams meet for the third time this season.

Boston has 15 wins and five ties in its last 20 contest at home against the Lightning since a 3-0 loss on April 9, 1994, and has won in Tampa twice this season to extend its winning streak in the series to three games.

Boston defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-2 on Thursday, and is now trying to win back-to-back contests for the first time since Dec. 1-3.

After Ottawa tied the score at 2-2 in the third period Thursday, Boston's Brad Boyes scored a power-play goal with 4:50 remaining and Travis Green added an empty net goal with 11.9 seconds left to lift the Bruins.

"Earlier in the year, our mind-set when losing a third period lead was to hang our heads," Boyes said. "But now the mind-set is there and it has been for the last month."

Boston has alternated wins and losses in its last nine games.

"We are not a pretty team and to be successful we have to do the little things," Bruins defenseman Hal Gill said. "We need to stack some wins together because playing .500 won't get it done the rest of the way."

The Lightning, meanwhile, failed to extend their winning streak to three games with a 3-1 loss at Buffalo on Thursday. Tampa Bay had just three shots on goal in the first period and six in the third, and the offense has scored five goals in the last four games.

"Right now we're not very opportunistic," said Martin St. Louis, who scored Tampa Bay's lone goal Thursday. "We fought back but we have to get a few power plays."

The Lightning have not scored a power-play goal in five games.

"We look so stagnant on our power play," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "It looks like no one wants the puck."

STANDINGS: Lightning - 45 points, 2nd place, 11 PB, Southeast Division. Bruins - 36 points, 5th place, 23 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Lightning - Fredrik Modin, 17 goals; Brad Richards, 29 assists; Vaclav Prospal, 44 points; Pavel Kubina, 64 PIM. Bruins - Sergei Samsonov, 15 goals; Patrice Bergeron, 18 assists; Samsonov and Bergeron, 29 points; Gill, 58 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Lightning - Power play: 13.7 percent (35 for 255), 27th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.7 percent (179 for 219), 18th. Bruins - Power play: 16.4 percent (37 for 225), 20th. Penalty killing: 83.7 percent (205 for 245), 10th.

GOALTENDERS: Lightning - John Grahame (16-13-0, 2 SO, 2.84 GAA); Sean Burke (5-4-0, 2.74). Bruins - Hannu Toivonen (9-5-0, 1, 2.63); Andrew Raycroft (6-14-0, 3.44).

SEASON SERIES: Bruins, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Dec. 30; Bruins, 2-1. At Tampa, Fla., Bergeron scored a tiebreaking, short-handed goal with 11:49 left and Toivonen made 31 saves to lead Boston.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Lightning - 10-9-2 on the road; Bruins - 7-7-2 at home.

Associated Press
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