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Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Steve Downie (9) celebrates after teammate Marc-Andre Bergeron, not shown, scored a first period goal past Florida Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen (30) during an NHL hockey game in Tampa, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) (Chris O'Meara)
Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Steve Downie (9) celebrates after teammate Marc-Andre Bergeron, not shown, scored a first period goal past Florida Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen (30) during an NHL hockey game in Tampa, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) (Chris O'Meara)

Wintering in Florida Add to ...

The Tampa Bay Lighting finish a, count 'em, 12-game homestand this Friday against the New Jersey Devils. The run started Jan. 23 and, in 10 games so far, the Lightning have five wins (two in overtime) and a pair of shootout losses to lead the Southeast. Starting Sunday, they play three on the road, then return home for four more, making it 16 games in a 19-game stretch at the St. Pete Times Forum.

FASHION UPGRADE

When the flamboyant Briton, Ian Poulter, won the 2010 Accenture Match Play Championship last year, he wore pink slacks, pink sweater, white shoes, white belt and white visor in the final round. But this year, his fashion choice has been taken out of his hands, perhaps for the best. The PGA Tour and Poulter's clothing design company invited fans to vote, via facebook.com, on what outfit he wears in his opening round. Poulter will wear the winning number on Wednesday.

NASH IN PLAY

The Phoenix Suns have said they won't trade two-time MVP point guard Steve Nash unless he asks them to do so, and Nash, 37, with one more year on his contract, says he won't be asking. Nonetheless, with the NBA trade deadline this Thursday, six teams have reportedly made inquiries including the Toronto Raptors. The others: Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic, Portland Trail Blazers, Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks, with whom Nash played six seasons before going to Phoenix as a free agent.

DULL KNIVES

In Buffalo, as incoming owner Terry Pegula assesses the operation and a total rebrand is anticipated, the Sabres have scored a total of two goals in three consecutive losses and sit ninth in the NHL's Eastern Conference. They have three home games remaining against the Atlanta Thrashers, Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings, before the Feb. 28 trade deadline. Buyers or sellers? X-factor: General manager Darcy Regier is likely a lame duck despite signing a two-year contract extension before Pegula came along.

MORE MORNEAU, OR LESS

B.C. slugger Justin Morneau is expected to report for spring training on Tuesday but Minnesota Twins officials are braced for the possibility that he won't be ready for opening day. Morneau suffered a concussion last July 7 when he got kneed in the head while sliding into second base during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Morneau started hitting and fielding just last week. "I am starting to feel more confident during my workouts, as I am not going through a mental checklist of how a certain exercise feels while I am doing it, every time I try something," he said.

 

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