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The Tampa Bay Lightning may be struggling to gain some consistency, but Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis are certainly doing more than their share.
Lecavalier and St. Louis each look to extend seven-game point streaks as the Lightning try to record a rare road win against the Boston Bruins on Saturday.
Tampa Bay (6-7-0) opened a four-game road trip with a 5-2 victory over struggling Philadelphia on Thursday, snapping a three-game skid which came on the heels of a three-game win streak.
"We were ugly at times," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "We struggled at times, but tonight we found our way. I'm not going to pick apart the game. I thought we did some good things. I thought we looked a little tired with the travel last night, but it's a win and that's very important."
The Lightning have split their first two games this month after losing six contests in October, the most for the franchise since the 2001-02 season.
Lecavalier and St. Louis again provided the bulk of the offense on Thursday.
Lecavalier had a goal and two assists - giving him six goals and five assists in his seven-game streak - and has scored in a career-best six consecutive contests. St. Louis, meanwhile, scored twice and has eight goals and 12 points during his run.
Lightning backup Johan Holmqvist made 30 saves for his first NHL win on Thursday, but starter Marc Denis figures to be back in net on Saturday. Denis allowed three goals on 25 shots in a 3-2 home defeat to Boston on Oct. 7, and has surrendered 22 goals during a personal four-game losing streak to the Bruins.
This will be the third game in four nights for the Lightning, who play 15 times in November, their busiest month of the season.
Boston (3-5-2) has won five of the last six meetings with Tampa Bay and is 17-2 with six ties at home in the series since the Lightning joined the NHL in 1992-93.
The Bruins appeared to be on their way to winning consecutive games for the first time this season with a three-goal lead against visiting Buffalo on Thursday, but the Sabres scored three times in the final 8:49 to force overtime and won it 5-4 in a shootout, sending Boston to its third loss in four games.
"There's no excuse for blowing the lead, but there's a lot of good things I can take out of it," Bruins coach Dave Lewis said. "You wonder how I do that, but there were a lot of very good things happening on the ice for us tonight. We didn't complete the game. That's the only thing."
Although Lewis' team has scored an Eastern Conference-low 23 goals this season, it did go over the three-goal mark for the first time on Thursday. The Bruins went 2-for-3 on the power play after connecting on only two of 17 opportunities over the previous three games.
The return of left wing Marco Sturm to the lineup should provide a much-needed boost to Boston's slumping offense. Sturm played Thursday after missing four games with a left knee injury and was put on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Boyes, reuniting the unit that combined for 185 points last season.
"They generated chances," Lewis said. "They had some chances to put the game away. You could tell something was going on there."
Boston hopes to have defenseman Brad Stuart available on Saturday. Stuart has missed the last three games with a broken finger.