GAME DAY: Senators at Lightning 3/29/11

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Senators (29-37-10) at Lightning (40-24-11) 7:30 p.m.

The Lightning look to build off of a 4-2 win over the Hurricanes last Saturday tonight against the spoiling Senators.  The Sens are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games despite being eliminated from the playoffs.  This will be the final meeting between the two until next season, and the third time these teams have played each other in March.  Ottawa has won the last two games by one-goal margins, while the Bolts took home the first meeting back in January.

The Senators have thoroughly embraced the role of spoiler as they continue to give every effort every night against the league’s top teams.  They recently shut out the Washington Capitals, but are coming off a shootout loss to Atlanta.  They are presented with another opportunity to frustrate an Eastern Conference team tonight.

The Bolts had be rightfully frustrated with their play as of late.  It has been generally lackluster and complacent, resulting in a 3-3-4 record in the last 10 games.  On Saturday, however, they were able to finally get over the hump in the second half of a back-to-back home-and-home with the Hurricanes and come out on top.

Does Tampa need to win? No, and that’s been part of the problem.  As long as they don’t nosedive, they are looking at holding steady in the 5th seed and would face either the Penguins or the Flyers in the first round.  They needed to sotp their spiral, which they seemed to do Saturday night.  This team is nothing if not inconsistent, so we’ll see if that momentum can carry on into tonight.

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