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Lightning hope to snap skid against red-hot Bruins

Boston (16-4-4) at Tampa Bay (6-10-8), 7:30 p.m. EST

TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- A pair of teams going in opposite

directions meet on Thursday when the Tampa Bay Lightning host

the Boston Bruins.

Tampa Bay has dropped five in a row - two coming beyond

regulation - and is 1-6-4 in its last 11 contests. The

Lightning are 1-3-4 under new coach Rick Tocchet.

Meanwhile, Boston finished off an 11-1-1 month of November with

a 4-1 victory over the defending Stanley Cup Champion Detroit

Red Wings on Saturday. The Bruins are 14-2-1 in their last 17

contests.

Goaltending has been a huge strength for the Bruins, who are

allowing a league-fewest 2.13 tallies per game.

Backup netminder Manny Fernandez, who made 29 stops against

Detroit, has won his last six starts. Tim Thomas has posted a

1.88 goals-against average and is second in the league with a

.940 save percentage.

That does not bode well for Tampa Bay, which is last in the

league in scoring at 2.29 goals per contest.

Tampa Bay lost its last game, 4-3, in overtime to Philadelphia

on Tuesday. Mike Richards scored on the power play at 2:05 of

the extra period after Steve Downie tied the score with 4:35

left in regulation.

The teams will meet again in Boston on Monday.

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