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TONIGHT: SENATORS VS. LIGHTNING

WHEN/WHERE: 7:35; Ice Palace, Tampa.

RADIO: WSUN-AM 620.

RECORDS: Senators 24-33-15; Lightning 28-37-7.

THE SERIES: Ottawa leads this season 2-1-0, but Tampa Bay leads overall 10-7-0.

THE AILING: Senators _ LW Dennis Vial (finger), D Sean Hill (knee), and D Stan Neckar (knee) are out. Lightning _ C Brian Bradley (wrist), Daren Puppa (back), and Cory Cross (foot) are out.

LATELY: The Lightning is coming off a 1-2 road trip with a victory in Calgary and losses at Edmonton and Vancouver. The trip left Tampa Bay with a 2-7 record over the past nine games. Both victories were in overtime against Calgary.The last time the Lightning won without needing overtime was March 4. If Ottawa wins or ties tonight, it will set a franchise record for consecutive road games without a loss: five. The Senators, who already have set team records this season for victories and points, are coming off a 5-4 victory Saturday at Boston.

BRADLEY UPDATE: Bradley hasn't given up on this season. It's possible he could be back for the final four or five games, provided the Lightning remains in the playoff chase. If the Lightning makes the playoffs, Bradley expects to be available.

GOALIESPEAK: Rick Tabaracci, who hasn't won in six starts, is expected to play tonight. No.

1 goalie Damian Rhodes recently returned from an injury, but Ron Tugnutt likely will start for the Senators.

ODDS AND ENDS: The Lightning hasn't lost on Tuesdays this season. It is 8-0-1, including shutouts over Buffalo, Los Angeles and Phoenix. Ottawa won the only meeting in the Ice Palace this season, 5-2 on Oct. 24. The Senators have won four of the past five meetings at Tampa Bay. A matchup to watch: The Senators have the fifth-best road power play in the league, and the Lightning has the third-best home penalty-killing unit. Tampa Bay's final 10 games are against teams in the Eastern Conference.

_ TOM JONES

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