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Lightning-Capitals Preview @NHLdotcom
Lightning-Capitals Preview

GAME: Tampa Bay Lightning (27-20-4) at Washington Capitals (17-27-5).

TIME: Sunday, 3 p.m. EST.

Lightning forward Fredrik Modin apparently is more comfortable playing on the road.

Modin and the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning look to extend their season-high road winning streak to five games when they meet the Washington Capitals at MCI Center.

Modin recorded his third career hat trick and Sean Burke made 38 saves in the Lightning's 6-0 rout Saturday of the Atlantic Division-leading Philadelphia Flyers.

Modin's first two goals were off tip-ins on shots by defensemen Darryl Sydor and Pavel Kubina.

"We got two great shots by Sydor first and Kubina second," Modin said. "They were just looking for guys in front. Obviously you're always lucky when those tips go in. But it's tough for the goalie to know where it's going."

With the hat trick, Modin overtook Vincent Lecavalier for the team lead in goal scoring. Modin, a member of the Swedish Olympic team that will compete next month at the Turin Olympics, has scored 15 of his 22 goals and half of his 12 assists this season on the road.

Modin also has four goals and an assist during a three-game road points streak.

Tampa Bay also has gotten stellar goaltending recently from Burke and U.S. Olympic selection John Grahame, who has posted shutouts in his last two starts. The Lightning have not given up a goal on the road since Jason Arnott of the Dallas Stars scored at 5:55 of the second period on Jan. 20, a span of 154 minutes, 5 seconds.

Burke is 1-0-2 with a 2.22 goals-against average against the Capitals while Grahame won his only start against them this season.

Washington is looking to end a three-game losing streak in which it has been outscored 14-5. Chris Clark and former Tampa Bay right wing Ben Clymer scored power-play goals in the Capitals' 3-2 loss Thursday to the Boston Bruins.

Rookie star Alexander Ovechkin missed a chance to tie the game for Washington when he failed to convert a short-handed breakaway with 3:20 to play.

Ovechkin also was awarded his first career penalty shot after he was tripped on a breakaway, but failed to beat Boston's Tim Thomas.

"It's my fault we lost the game," Ovechkin said. "I must take advantage of those chances, but it was not my day."

Ovechkin, who will play next month for Russia at the Olympics, has three goals and two assists this season against Tampa Bay. He has recorded a point in 10 of Washington's last 11 games and leads all rookies this season in goals (34) and points (64).

STANDINGS: Lightning - 58 points, 2nd place, 18 PB, Southeast Division. Capitals - 39 points, 5th place, 37 PB, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Lightning - Modin, 22 goals; Vaclav Prospal, 36 assists and 54 points; Kubina, 74 PIM. Capitals - Ovechkin, 34 goals, 30 assists and 64 points; Brendan Witt, 125 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Lightning - Power play: 14.3 percent (43 for 301), 28th in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.5 percent (208 for 249), 11th. Capitals - Power play: 13.8 percent (42 for 304), 29th. Penalty killing: 78.8 percent (272 for 345), 29th.

GOALTENDERS: Lightning - Grahame (19-14-1, 4 SO, 2.69 GAA); Burke (8-5-3, 1, 2.53). Capitals - Olaf Kolzig (13-19-5, 0, 3.50); Brent Johnson (4-7-0, 0, 4.01).


LAST MEETING: Nov. 23; Lightning, 4-3 (SO). Dan Boyle scored twice in regulation and Prospal netted the game-winner in the shootout. Kolzig made 39 saves for the Capitals.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Lightning - 14-11-2 on the road; Capitals - 11-12-4 at home.

Associated Press
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