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Lightning hope to stop bleeding against Caps

by Brian Compton
LIGHTNING (26-25-11) at CAPITALS (42-13-8)

Last 10: Tampa Bay 4-5-1; Washington 7-1-2.

Season Series: This is the fourth of six meetings between the Southeast Division rivals. Washington has won two of the first three, including a 3-2 victory on Jan. 31 at the Verizon Center.

Big Story: The Caps will have a new look in this one, as they added three players prior to Wednesday's trade deadline -- Eric Belanger, Scott Walker and Joe Corvo. The Caps returned from the Olympic break later in the night and earned a 3-1 win at Buffalo.

Team Scope:

Lightning: Tampa Bay was pummeled in its return from the Olympic break as it suffered a 7-2 loss on home ice against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Lightning, who have lost four in a row, allowed five goals in the third period and were outscored 22-7 in their season series with the Broad Street Bullies.

"You get penalties, stuff like that, you try to stop it," Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said. "The momentum just went."

Capitals: Washington spoiled Ryan Miller's return to Buffalo on Wednesday night, as Mike Green broke a 1-1 tie and beat the Team USA goalie in a 3-1 decision at HSBC Arena. Miller's opponent, Jose Theodore, made 23 saves in the victory.

"When you play against a guy like Miller, you know he's not going to give up too many goals," Theodore said. "It was a real tight hockey game, and I'm really happy with the way we got the win."

Who's Hot: Lightning center Steven Stamkos has 12 goals and 13 assists in his last 14 games. … Theodore is 11-0-2 in his last 13 appearances.

Injury Report: Lightning defenseman David Hale is out with a broken bone in his right leg. … Washington is boasting a healthy lineup.

Stat Pack: Tampa Bay goalie Antero Niittymaki was pulled for the second time in his past three starts after giving up six goals on 31 shots against Philadelphia on Tuesday. In his past three games, Niittymaki has allowed 14 goals on 85 shots -- an .835 save percentage.

Puck Drop: "Everybody does what they need to do and some years, it makes no sense to do anything. Then, this year, I thought the right deals were there and they were. How everyone else perceives them, that's up to them, but we're pleased with what took place today." -- Washington GM George McPhee

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