(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning hope to pick up where they left off before the All-Star break, as the Atlantic Division leaders visit the Carolina Hurricanes for Tuesday's battle at PNC Arena.
The Lightning, who lead Detroit by one point atop the Atlantic, entered the break on a three-game winning streak and all three victories came during a three-game stay at Amalie Arena. Tampa will take to the road for one game before hosting the Red Wings in Thursday's divisional showdown.
The Bolts completed their perfect homestand with last Tuesday's 4-1 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks. It was Tampa's eighth straight victory on home ice, tying a franchise record for consecutive wins as the host.
Alex Killorn's two goals and Ben Bishop's 27 saves helped keep the Lightning's home winning streak alive. Valtteri Filppula contributed a goal and an assist and Brian Boyle also scored to help the Bolts improve to 19-4-1 as the host.
While Tampa Bay has been terrific in Central Florida, picking up wins on the road has been a struggle for Jon Cooper's club. The Lightning are just 11-10-3 as the guest in 2014-15 and will aim to end a two-game road skid tonight.
The Bolts, however, should have an excellent chance at claiming their 12th road win of the season this evening. Tampa has dominated the Hurricanes in recent years, winning five straight and nine of the past 10 meetings overall. Carolina has lost six straight as the host since last earning a home win over the Lightning on Nov. 1, 2011.
Bishop boasts superb career numbers against the 'Canes and is expected to get the start tonight. He is 5-0 with a 1.19 goals against average and two shutouts in five career starts versus Carolina.
The Lightning could be without leading scorer Tyler Johnson tonight. Johnson went to Columbus this weekend after being selected to represent Tampa at the All-Star festivities along with Steven Stamkos, but he had to withdraw from both the Skills competition on Saturday and Sunday's All-Star Game due to a lower-body injury.
NHL rules prevent players from playing in the first regular-season test after the break if they pulled out of All-Star weekend due to injury, but that doesn't apply to Johnson since he physically went to Columbus and attempted to participate in the event. Johnson has 48 points to lead the Bolts and also is pacing the team with 31 assists.
The Hurricanes entered the break playing some of their best hockey of the season, but the club is still 20 points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Carolina is 6-2-1 in January and picked up wins in Ottawa and Toronto just before the regular season went on hold for All-Star weekend.
The Hurricanes last played on Jan. 19 when they notched a 4-1 road win over the Maple Leafs. Anton Khudobin stopped 34 shots to anchor the win at Air Canada Centre, while Eric Staal led the Carolina offense with a two-goal night.
Elias Lindholm and Brad Malone each scored once for the Hurricanes, who have won three of their last four.
The consecutive road wins pushed Carolina's away record this season to 6-16-3. The club is 10-9-2 at home and is beginning a two-game stay at PNC Arena. The brief residency will end Friday against St. Louis.
Cam Ward could get the call in net tonight for the Hurricanes. He is 19-16-3 with a 2.97 GAA in his career versus Carolina, while Khudobin is 1-1-0 with a 2.34 GAA in this matchup.