Lightning-Hurricanes Preview

The Associated Press

While Steven Stamkos added to his scoring binge last time out, the Tampa Bay Lightning couldn't generate enough offense to keep their winning streak going.

Stamkos and the Lightning haven't had much trouble scoring in recent visits to Raleigh.

Tampa Bay will try to get started on another win streak by taking advantage of the short-handed Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night and earning a franchise-best fifth consecutive victory in the series.

Stamkos scored his ninth goal in nine games Tuesday in New Jersey, but the Lightning couldn't come up with the equalizer over the final 24 minutes of a 2-1 loss. Tampa Bay (8-4-0) had 17 shots - one shy of a season low - after averaging 30.7 during a three-game win streak.

"We have a game plan in place and sometimes it gets a little frustrating when we don't execute our plan," coach Jon Cooper said. "You can be hard to play against in a bunch of different ways, but if you're going to get less than 20 shots in a hockey game, that's not very hard to play against."

Tampa Bay scored 12 goals in the previous three games with Stamkos and Martin St. Louis netting three each. Stamkos also had four assists during that run and has seven in his past nine games.

He has three goals and four assists during the Lightning's run of four consecutive road victories over Carolina. Tampa Bay has outscored the Hurricanes 18-6 in those games.

The Lightning have won seven of eight in Raleigh and scored at least four goals in each win over their former Southeast Division rival.

Tampa Bay won the first four meetings last season by an 18-4 score before losing the final one, 3-2 on April 21. St. Louis had a team-best seven points in the season series while raising his career totals against Carolina to 37 goals and 83 points - both his most versus any opponent.

St. Louis now faces a Hurricanes team missing its top two goaltenders.

Cam Ward is out at least two more weeks and Anton Khudobin is on injured reserve with lower-body injuries. The Hurricanes (4-5-3) will likely have two goaltenders who started the season in the minors, Justin Peters and Mike Murphy, dress for this game just as they did for a 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Monday.

Peters stopped 26 shots in his team's season-worst third straight regulation loss. It was the fourth consecutive home loss for the Hurricanes, who have three wins in their last 18 games in Raleigh.

Carolina also played Monday without scoring leader Jeff Skinner, who is dealing with an upper-body injury. Skinner is expected to sit out this weekend's back-to-back games.

"We need more from other people," coach Kirk Muller said. "Certain guys are there to produce, but there are other guys that have to bring something to the table."

Jiri Tlusty and Jordan Staal, third and fourth on the team in points last season, each has just three through 12 games.

Tlusty scored twice in Carolina's win at Tampa in April, and Alexander Semin had a goal and two assists. Semin has one goal and four assists during a four-game point streak.

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