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TONIGHT: LIGHTNING vs. OTTAWA SENATORS

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

RADIO: WDAE-AM 1250, WLVU-FM 106.3.

THE LOWDOWN: Tampa Bay, off to its worst start, looks to snap an eight-game winless streak against Ottawa, which is off to its best start (6-3-3) and was unbeaten in five straight before falling 4-2 to Montreal on Saturday. The teams split four games last season, but the Lightning leads the series 11-7-0. Ottawa RW Daniel Alfredsson has five goals and four assists in six games since signing a four-year, $10-million contract. The shoulder injury to C Brian Bradley first was diagnosed as a mild separation, but Bradley actually has a mild sprain. He missed practice Tuesday and is doubtful tonight, but he should go on next week's four-game trip. D Jeff Norton (flu) returned, but RW Mikael Andersson (flu) did not practice and is doubtful. LW Troy Mallette (pectoral muscle strain) is out. Neither LW Magnus Arvedson (groin) nor RW Alexandre Daigle (triceps) traveled with the Senators; LW Dennis Vial (dislocated kneecap) is out six weeks. With Arvedson and Daigle out, D Chris Phillips, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 1996, is playing left wing. Ottawa will use G Ron Tugnutt (3-0-2); expect No.

1 Daren Puppa for Tampa Bay.

_ TIM BUCKLEY

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