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TONIGHT: LIGHTNING VS. BRUINS

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30; Ice Palace, Tampa.

TV/RADIO: Sunshine; WDAE-AM 620.

THE LOWDOWN: This is the first meeting this season and the fifth of a six-game homestand for the Lightning. The Bruins are 7-6-2 at Tampa Bay. Boston C Joe Thornton had a team-high three goals and two assists against the Lightning last season. Before Friday's loss to Florida, the Bruins were 3-0-1-1 in their previous five games. Boston also had its string of 26 straight penalty kills snapped. C Jason Allison led the team with 18 goals and 29 assists. RW Mike Knuble had at least a point in his past four games. The Lightning didn't win 12 games until Jan. 29 last season. Tampa Bay won 19 games last season; it is on pace to win 28. The power play is one for its past 35. The defense has killed 10 of its past 11 short-handed situations, including 6-for-6 against Philadelphia. LW Fredrik Modin has three goals and one assist in the past two games. C Vinny Lecavalier has three assists in two games. Tampa Bay could win its third straight game. The last time it did that was in early November when it beat the Islanders (4-3, Nov. 3), Washington (5-2, Nov. 5) and Montreal (3-1, Nov. 10). Dan Cloutier is expected to start in goal. RW Martin St. Louis scored twice against Philadelphia and has six goals this season. He had four goals in 69 games before this season. LW Kyle Freadrich (eye bruise) and D Pavel Kubina (cut left index finger) are questionable. D Kristian Kudroc was recalled from the IHL's Detroit Vipers on Friday.

_ Compiled by Kevin Kelly.

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