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Lightning look to make it eight straight

Tampa Bay puts win streak on line; Gomez debuts for Ottawa

by Chris Stevenson / NHL.com Correspondent

LIGHTNING (37-22-4) at SENATORS (30-27-7)

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET; SUN, RDS, TSN5, NHL.TV

OTTAWA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to win their eighth game in a row when they play the Ottawa Senators on Thursday at Canadian Tire Centre.
 
Ben Bishop, who has an 8-0-3 record and a 2.13 goals-against average against his former team, will start in goal for the Lightning, who are finishing up a four-game road trip.

The Lightning, who had an optional skate Thursday morning, trail the first-place Florida Panthers in the Atlantic Division by two points. They have the second-longest current winning streak in the NHL. The Anaheim Ducks have won nine games in a row.
 
Andrew Hammond will start for the Senators with No. 1 goaltender Craig Anderson out with a lower-body injury. Anderson is day-to-day.
 
The Senators are 5-1-1 in their past seven games and are five points out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
 
With top center Kyle Turris out indefinitely with a sprained ankle, center Scott Gomez was signed for the rest of the season by the Senators on Wednesday.
 
He will play Thursday on a line with Ryan Dzingel and Alex Chiasson.
 
Gomez, 36, ended his professional tryout with Hershey of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. He played 21 games with the St. Louis Blues between October and December with one goal and seven assists.
 
"Anytime you can play in the best League in the world and you get the call, you're excited," Gomez said. "It's the NHL. It's a great group of young kids. To compete against the best, that's what we all want."
 
Gomez said he still can skate and feels a duty to help the Senators young players.
 
"I've been around a long time. I've seen every aspect in this game. It's pretty simple. You're still professional, you've got to come, you've got to work," he said. "It's the way the League is. It's all young kids. You're here to help them out. If you're not there to pay back what you learned, you're in the wrong business. To not give back, that would be a crime."
 
Senators coach Dave Cameron said Gomez will give him more options against the Lightning and help take some pressure off the Senators young centers: Mika Zibanejad is 22, Jean-Gabriel Pageau is 23 and Curtis Lazar is 21.
 
"Excited to have him. He gives us some depth," Cameron said. "The most important thing with depth is you can manage your young guys better. This is a tough League to learn, to cut your teeth in as young players.
 
"With the injuries we have and the number of young guys who are in, it's important to protect them and put them in the right situations and Scott is going to allow me to do that, give me some leverage in that. Plus, he's a good player."
 
Here are the projected lineups:
 
LIGHTNING

Alex Killorn - Steven Stamkos - Ryan Callahan
Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov
Cedric Paquette - Valtteri Filppula - J.T. Brown
Vladislav Namestnikov - Brian Boyle - Erik Condra
 
Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman
Matt Carle - Jason Garrison
Nikita Nesterov - Braydon Coburn
 
Ben Bishop
Andrei Vasilevskiy
 
Scratched: Jonathan Marchessault
Injured: Andrej Sustr (undisclosed)
 
SENATORS
Mike Hoffman - Mika Zibanejad - Bobby Ryan
Zack Smith - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Mark Stone
Ryan Dzingel - Scott Gomez - Alex Chiasson
Nick Paul - Curtis Lazar - Chris Neil
 
Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson
Dion Phaneuf - Cody Ceci  
Mark Borowiecki - Chris Wideman
 
Andrew Hammond
Chris Driedger
 
Scratched: Matt Puempel, Patrick Wiercioch.
Injured: Kyle Turris (ankle), Craig Anderson (lower body), Chris Phillips (back), Clarke MacArthur (concussion).
 
Status report: MacArthur did not pass his baseline testing and is expected to be out another two weeks.
 
Who's hot: Pageau has three goals and five assists in his past six games. … Stone has two goals and five assists in his past four games. … Zibanejad has three goals and an assist in his past two games.

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