NHL

Lightning-Senators Preview

Considering how well the Tampa Bay Lightning are playing, it's easy to see why they are so pleased with general manager Steve Yzerman's decision to stand pat at this week's trade deadline.

For the second time in 2016, the visiting Lightning have a chance to match a club record with an eighth consecutive victory Thursday night against the Ottawa Senators.

Two points out of first place in the Atlantic Division and riding its second seven-game winning streak since early January, Tampa Bay (37-22-4) is perfectly content to press forward as is.

"We're comfortable with each other," coach Jon Cooper told the Lightning's official website. "There's no reason to blow this up. We've got a great group of guys, and they know the standard how we want to play and we've had some success.

"I know Steve was looking if there was a piece we could have added to us or to help us out. That's why he's the reigning GM of the year because he's good at doing stuff like that, but when there's not something out there, you just don't make a trade to make a trade."

Tyler Johnson scored both goals as the Lightning won for the 18th time in 23 games Monday, 2-1 at Toronto. They won eight straight Feb. 23-March 6, 2004.

"I think you ask anyone in this locker room, we're very confident in the group that we have," said Johnson, who didn't skip a beat after taking a puck to the forehead in Sunday's 4-1 win at Boston. "We've been working hard and everything's coming together at the right moment."

Giving Ben Bishop a breather, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves to win his third consecutive start. Bishop has posted a 1.25 goals-against average during a four-game winning streak, all on the road.

Tampa Bay has yielded six goals while winning five consecutive road contests and killed all 17 penalties in the last six away from home. The Lightning can complete a sweep of their four-game trip by taking six straight road contests for the first time since 2007-08.

They outscored the Senators 9-3 to win the first two meetings at home but lost 5-1 at Ottawa on Feb. 8. Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos combined for seven points in the first two games but were blanked in the defeat.

Senators forward Mark Stone had two goals and an assist Feb. 8, part of a 14-game stretch in which he has nine goals and eight assists. He assisted on the first of Jean-Gabriel Pageau's two third-period goals in Tuesday's 4-3 loss to St. Louis that ended in the 11th round of a shootout.

Ottawa (30-27-7) has gone 5-1-1 in its last seven and earned at least a point in four straight home contests, but is five points out of the final wild-card spot in East and will need to pass several teams.

"At this time of the year it's tough to feel good about yourselves after ultimately losing a game," Andrew Hammond, who stopped all 17 shots after replacing an ineffective Craig Anderson, told the NHL's official website. "That's really the position we're in right now."

Anderson has posted a 4.34 goals-against average in his last three starts but made 31 saves against the Lightning at home last month.

Pageau, who recorded a goal and two assists in that victory, has three and five assists during a six-game point streak.

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