(SportsNetwork.com) – The red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning will shoot for a seventh
straight victory when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks for Tuesday’s showdown
at the United Center.
The Lightning enter Tuesday’s action with the second-longest current winning
streak in the NHL. Only the Pittsburgh Penguins, who will aim for an eighth
straight win Tuesday against the New York Rangers, have a longer stretch of
wins at the moment.
Tampa is on its first six-game winning streak since Jan. 18-Feb. 1, 2011. The
club hasn’t won seven straight since an eight-game run from Feb. 23-March 6,
2004, a few months before the franchise won its first and only Stanley Cup
Ben Bishop came up big for Tampa in its most recent victory, Sunday’s 4-3 road
win over the Detroit Red Wings. Bishop only needed to make 17 saves through
regulation and overtime but earned the win by stopping all three Red Wings’
attempts in the shootout.
Ryan Callahan notched the lone goal of the shootout, as he ended the first
round by making several dekes and sneaking a forehander past Jimmy Howard.
Bishop, who muted a Gustav Nyquist backhander, then stopped a Tomas Tatar
chance and shunted away Darren Helm’s attempt to conclude the contest.
Bishop, a finalist for the Vezina Trophy in 2013-14, improved his record to
9-1-1 on the season.
Steven Stamkos picked up a pair of goals and Tyler Johnson netted the other
regulation score for the Lightning.
“You find ways to win and gain confidence,” said Stamkos. “We are going to try
to keep this train rolling.”
The Lightning played their third straight game without forward Alex Killorn,
who is dealing with an upper-body injury. Killorn is questionable for Tuesday.
Tampa is completing a three-game road trip tonight and hopes to conclude the
swing with its third consecutive victory in the Windy City. The Bolts have won
two straight and three of their last five games in Chicago and have won five
straight overall versus the Blackhawks.
Chicago is capping a three-game homestand tonight after splitting the first
two tests. The Blackhawks, who have won two of three overall, dropped a 3-2
regulation decision against Washington on Friday before bouncing back with
Sunday’s 5-2 rout of the San Jose Sharks.
Niklas Hjalmarsson’s goal capped a first-period scoring barrage to lead the
Blackhawks past the visiting Sharks. Chicago outshot San Jose 20-9 in the
opening period and Kris Versteeg, Brent Seabrook and Hjalmarsson all scored in
a span of 2:34 late in the first.
Jonathan Toews finished with a goal and an assist and Bryan Bickell also lit
the lamp for the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford turned aside 32 shots in the win.
“I thought we had a great start and first period,” Blackhawks head coach Joel
Quenneville said. “We had good balance on our pairs. We got some offense and
defense from them.”
After completing its homestand tonight, Chicago will close November by playing
seven of eight on the road. The Blackhawks are 5-3-1 at the United Center this
season and 3-3-0 everywhere else.