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Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Atlanta Thrashers @NHLdotcom
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GAME: Tampa Bay Lightning (32-17-7-5) at Atlanta Thrashers (24-31-6-2).

TIME: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

The Tampa Bay Lightning look to continue piling up points as they visit a place they've only won once in five seasons when they meet the Atlanta Thrashers.

Tampa Bay earned at least one point for the eighth straight game on Monday, beating the Washington Capitals 6-3 to open a 16-point lead in the Southeast Division. The Lightning are 1-0-0-2 on their four-game road trip.

The Lightning have lost in regulation just twice in their last 23 contests (16-2-1-4), earning a possible 37 of 46 points since Jan. 8.

Tampa Bay fell behind 3-2 at the two-minute mark of the third period on Monday, but Martin Cibak was speared by Washington's Rick Berry just 48 seconds later and that resulted in a five-minute power-play.

The Lightning took advantage, as Fredrik Modin and Dave Andreychuk scored power-play goals 73 seconds apart to give Tampa Bay a 4-3 lead. Martin St. Louis assisted on both goals during that man advantage and finished with a goal and three assists.

"Nobody likes to be speared like that," St. Louis said. "Obviously, we'll take the five minutes and take the two goals."

The Lightning will be looking to extend their point streak as they visit Atlanta, where they've lost twice this season and are 1-8-3 all-time. Tampa Bay is 0-4-3 at Philips Arena since a 4-3 win on March 21, 2001.

The Thrashers are returning home after ending a season-high, seven-game road trip with a 5-4 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

Atlanta fell behind 3-0 after the first period, but rallied to tie the game with three goals in a six-minute span of the second period.

The Thrashers, however, lost when Simon Gagne converted a penalty shot with just 1:01 left in the game after Atlanta defenseman Andy Sutton shot a loose stick on the ice toward him while he was skating near the boards with the puck.

"The referee made the right call," Sutton said of the penalty shot. "It's just unfortunate it cost us the game. I just felt the stick shouldn't have sat there for so long. I just shot it ahead and it happened to hit the puck."

Atlanta finished 3-4 on the trip, and is in 11th place in the East.

STANDINGS: Lightning - 76 points, 1st place, Southeast Division. Thrashers - 56 points, 3rd place, 20 PB, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Lightning - St. Louis, 30 goals, 41 assists and 71 points; Chris Dingman, 124 PIM. Thrashers - Ilya Kovalchuk, 33 goals, 35 assists and 68 points; Francis Lessard, 127 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 23): Lightning - Power play: 17.2 percent (45 for 262), 10th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.2 percent (179 for 210), 8th. Thrashers - Power play: 14.4 percent (45 for 312), 23rd. Penalty killing: 84.5 percent (246 for 291), 14th.

GOALTENDERS: Lightning - Nikolai Khabibulin (17-15-6, 2 SO, 2.39 GAA); John Grahame (15-7-1, 1, 1.86). Thrashers - Pasi Nurminen (20-22-5, 2, 2.86); Frederic Cassivi (no appearances).


LAST MEETING: Jan. 31; Lightning, 5-2. At Tampa, Fla., Modin had two goals and an assist, and Grahame made 21 saves to improve to 8-1 in his past nine games.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Lightning - 16-10-3-3 on the road; Thrashers - 13-13-4-0 at home.

Associated Press
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