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GAME: Tampa Bay Lightning (34-27-4) at Ottawa Senators (43-15-5).
TIME: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
Playing at home for just the second time in more than a month, the Ottawa Senators will try to continue their dominance over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Senators have won seven straight against the Lightning and 17 of the last 20 meetings. Ottawa, which is going for the season-series sweep of the defending Stanley Cup champions, has outscored Tampa Bay 16-3 in three matchups this season, including a 4-0 shutout on March 6.
The Senators will be back at Scotiabank Place after going 4-1 on a season-high five-game road trip. Ottawa wrapped up the road swing with a 5-2 victory Sunday over the Washington Capitals, improving to 38-0-0 when scoring at least four goals.
"Ten days on the road is a long time," said Ottawa rookie goalie Ray Emery, who finished with 25 saves and backstopped the Senators to the shutout over Tampa Bay earlier this month. "We wanted to bear down today. It will be nice to get back to our own beds for a few nights."
Ottawa's only home game since the Olympic break ended was a 7-1 victory March 2 over Washington.
Peter Schaefer left Sunday's game with a hip injury, but practiced Monday. He has recorded two goals and two assists in three games against Tampa Bay this season.
Heatley and Spezza each have a goal and three assists against the Lightning.
The Lightning will try to wrap up a five-game road trip with consecutive wins for the first time since Feb. 9-11.
Tampa Bay notched just its second win in seven games with a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday. Sean Burke made 31 saves and Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis each scored as the Lightning moved one point ahead of the Canadiens in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Tampa Bay is in seventh place with 72 points, two points behind New Jersey.
"We haven't won too many 2-1 games lately so it's nice to get those and feel confident," said St. Louis, whose short-handed goal helped him reach 20 for the third straight season.
Lecavalier has recorded a point in four consecutive games and six of the last seven with four goals and three assists.
Neither player has fared well against Ottawa this season. St. Louis has just two assists and Lecavalier one goal in three games.
STANDINGS: Lightning - 72 points, 2nd place, 20 PB, Southeast Division. Senators - 91 points, 1st place, Northeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Lightning - Lecavalier, 28 goals; Brad Richards, 48 assists and 67 points; Pavel Kubina, 84 PIM. Senators - Heatley, 37 goals; Spezza, 49 assists; Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson, 80 points; Neil, 157 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Lightning - Power play: 15.1 percent (58 for 384), 26th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.4 percent (263 for 319), 16th. Senators - Power play: 20.3 percent (82 for 379), 3rd. Penalty killing: 85.8 percent (325 for 379), 3rd.
GOALTENDERS: Lightning - John Grahame (23-17-1, 5 SO, 2.94 GAA); Burke (11-9-3, 1, 2.92). Senators - Emery (15-5-1, 2, 2.79); Mike Morrison (10-4-2, 2.83).
SEASON SERIES: Senators, 3-0.
LAST MEETING: March 6; Senators, 4-0. At Tampa, Fla., Emery made 31 saves for his second career shutout as Ottawa got goals from four different players.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Lightning - 18-15-2 on the road; Senators - 23-6-1 at home.
|Mar 14 '06||TBL 3 at OTT 4||D. Alfredsson|
|Mar 06 '06||OTT 4 at TBL 0||A. Vermette|
|Nov 03 '05||TBL 2 at OTT 4||W. Redden|
|Oct 21 '05||OTT 4 at TBL 1||D. Alfredsson|