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Red-hot Lightning set to host Bruins

by Brian Compton /
BRUINS (19-11-4) at LIGHTNING (21-10-5)


Last 10: Boston 5-3-2; Tampa Bay 7-1-2.

Season Series: This is the third of four meetings between the teams. Boston avenged a 3-1 loss on Nov. 22 when they pummeled the Lightning in an 8-1 victory on Dec. 2 at TD Garden. David Krejci had a pair of goals for the Bolts.

Big Story: Both teams enter Tuesday's showdown tied for first place in their respective divisions. Boston joined Montreal atop the Northeast thanks to Monday's 3-2 shootout victory at Florida. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, has earned points in 8 straight games and finds itself knotted with Washington at 47 points apiece.

"We've been playing well, but we want to score even more and play even better," Lightning forward Sean Bergenheim said. "All and all though, it's been great."

Team Scope:

Bruins: Boston kicked off its five-game road trip in winning fashion Monday night, thanks to a fluky shootout goal by Blake Wheeler. The Bruins' forward scored on Boston's second attempt after losing control of the puck while trying to deke Scott Clemmensen, and his shot from a sharp angle then hit the post before bouncing in off Clemmensen's ankle as the Bruins skated away with the 3-2 victory against the Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center.

"The puck went where I wanted it to go, but I just kind of didn't have the handle I wanted to on it," Wheeler said. "It just kind of snuck off my stick there. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, right?"

Lightning: Vincent Lecavalier scored twice, including the game-winner 1:13 into overtime, and Martin St. Louis added two assists as Tampa Bay continued its roll with a 3-2 victory against the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena on Sunday.

Tampa Bay has points in eight straight, its longest stretch since February 2004.

"We've been playing some pretty good hockey lately, but tonight, after two days off, we played very smart," Lecavalier said after the win. "It was a huge win for us, but we've got to keep pushing and hopefully keep this going."

Who's Hot: Krejci had both of Boston's goals in regulation on Monday. … Lightning center Steven Stamkos has scored in four of his last five games, St. Louis has 10 points in his last five and goalie Dan Ellis is 3-0-1 in his last four contests. 

Injury Report: Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart is out 4-6 weeks with a broken hand. … Lightning forward Steve Downie is out indefinitely with a sprained ankle, while goalie Mike Smith is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a sprained knee.

Stat Pack: Monday's win was Boston's first in four shootouts this season. … Atlanta has allowed two shorthanded goals in as many games. … The Lightning have gone to overtime in six of the past eight games and eight of the past 13.

Puck Drop: "Teams look at our power play, and they want to take that away from us because that is one of our weapons. Teams are doing the right thing. That's a good plan against us." -- Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher

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