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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Saturday, March 27th (All times eastern)

Washington Capitals (22-44-9-2) at Tampa Bay Lightning (44-21-8-5), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Two teams on the opposite ends of the Southeast Division standings meet tonight, as the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning host the Washington Capitals.

The Lightning, who have already clinched the division title, have 101 points and are tied with Detroit for the best record in the NHL. Washington, on the other hand, has 55 points and is only trailed by Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference.

On Thursday, Brad Richards scored the game-winning goal with 4:58 remaining in the contest to lift Tampa Bay to a 2-1 win over New Jersey at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Pavel Kubina registered the Lightning's other tally, as Tampa Bay pulled off the four-game season sweep of the Devils. Fredrik Modin assisted on both goals and Nikolai Khabibulin turned aside 18 of the 19 shots he faced to earn the win.

The Lightning ran their unbeaten streak to seven games versus New Jersey (5-0-2). Tampa Bay also improved to 13-4-1 in its last 18 games overall.

Tampa Bay continues Monday with Ottawa in the third test of its season-ending five-game homestand.

Meanwhile, the Caps are coming off Wednesday's 3-2 loss in Atlanta. Daniel Tjarnqvist's goal just past the midway point of the third period lifted the Thrashers to the win over Washington.

Matthew Yeats, in his first career start, stopped 30 shots for Washington, which is 1-7-1 in its last nine games. Matt Pettinger and Brian Willsie each tallied goals in the setback.

Washington returns home on Tuesday to face the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Tampa Bay is 3-2 against the Caps this season, but Washington is 13-5-1 in the last 19 matchups.

03/27 10:27:16 ET

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