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Lightning, Hurricanes duel in opener of home-and-home series

Oct 26, 2006 - 1:08 PM Carolina (4-4-2) at Tampa Bay (4-4-0) 7:30 pm EDT

TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) - The Tampa Bay Lightning go for their third consecutive win in the start of a home-and-home set against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.

The Lightning pushed their win total to two straight following a 6-4 victory over Washington on Saturday.

Nikita Alexeev tallied twice and Vincent Lecavalier scored his third goal this campaign while goaltender Marc Denis made 29 saves for Tampa Bay, which won the faceoff battle, 42-23.

The defending champion Hurricanes won their last outing as well, a 5-4 overtime triumph over the Atlanta Thrashers on Wednesday. Defenseman Anton Babchuk scored the game-winning goal 71 seconds into the extra session.

Eric Staal, Scott Walker, Ryan Bayda and blue-liner Andrew Hutchinson all tallied in regulation and netminder Cam Ward stopped 32 shots for Carolina, which beat Tampa Bay, 5-1, on October 16.

The teams wrap up their two-game series Saturday in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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