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TONIGHT: LIGHTNING VS. ISLANDERS

WHEN/WHERE: 7; St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa.

TV/RADIO: Sunshine; WDAE-AM 620.

THE LOWDOWN: The New York Post said the Islanders are dealing with a locker room divided between some players and coach Peter Laviolette. The rift, the paper said, dates to last season's playoff loss to the Maple Leafs, after which the coach apparently called out some players. The paper also said some players are upset at the coddling of star forward Alexei Yashin. New York has won three of five, but that came after a six-game losing streak. Tampa Bay is 4-1-0-1 in its past six. Lightning C Brad Richards has a goal and eight assists in his past eight games. Entering Wednesday, the Islanders' average of 20.4 penalty minutes was tied for second-most in the league. New York's 8.9 percent power-play efficiency on the road was fourth-worst. Its 73.3 percent penalty kill efficiency on the road was second-worst. Lightning F Vinny Prospal's 16 assists were tied for third. Richards' 15 assists were tied for fourth. RW Martin St. Louis' 11 goals were tied for second. His 23 points were tied for third. The Islanders are 3-8-2 against the East. The Lightning is 9-5-1. New York is 2-4-2 on the road. Tampa Bay is 7-1-0-1 at home. The Lightning leads the series 20-19-3-1 (though it has lost four in a row) and is 10-10-2 at home, where it has lost two in a row.

_ Compiled by Damian Cristodero.

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