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Lightning Vs. Ducks Preview: Tampa Bay Closes Out Homestand

The Tampa Bay Lightning close out a four-game home stand with a lone date with the Anaheim Ducks.

Back-to-back wins has the Tampa Bay Lightning sitting just six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Tampa Bay closes out a four-game home stand tonight, against the Anaheim Ducks, before embarking on a three game road trip on Thursday.

The Lightning have won three of its past five games, with its most recent win coming on Saturday, a 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. Goaltender Mathieu Garon was a big reason the Lightning won that game, stopping all but one of the 24 shots he faced. It was a good showing for Garon, who lost three of his previous four starts. Although it has not been announced yet, look for Garon to be in net against the Ducks. He has played in all but two of the Lightning's games this month and has a .913 save percentage in his last five games.

The Ducks have spent the bulk of February on the road, tonight's game marks the eight straight game the team has played away from Anaheim. The road has been quite kind to the Ducks, who have won six of their past eight games. Not only has the team been winning away from their home arena, but has played well at home as well. Anaheim has earned points in nine of their last 10 games. The Ducks recent surge has them currently five points out of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Who's hot: None other than Steven Stamkos. The center scored his league-leading 40th goal on Saturday night. Teddy Purcell has been an assist machine and has seven points in his last seven games (one goal, six assists).

Injury Report: Lightning: Vincent Lecavalier (upper-body injury) day-to-day, Mattias Ohlund (knee) is on Injured Reserve and is out for the remainder of the season. Dana Tyrell (ACL) is also on Injured Reserve and out for the rest of the 2011-2012 season. Ducks: Bobby Ryan (leg) and Dan Ellis (groin).

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.