New York Rangers
@ Tampa Bay Lightning
Date: Sunday December 29, 2013
Time: 7:00 PM EST
Arena: Tampa Bay Times Forum
New York Rangers: 18
– 19 – 2 , 5th in Metropolitan, 10th in Conference
Tampa Bay Lightning: 23
– 11 – 3, 2nd in Atlantic, 3rd in Conference
The New York Rangers return to the
ice tomorrow in sunny Florida for an evening matchup against the Tampa Bay
a disappointing 3 – 2 third period loss to the Washington Capitals last night, the
Blueshirts will look to rebound and regain the .500 mark in a tight division
and even tighter wild card position.
few key changes for New York include the return of “The King” Henrik Lundqvist
between the pipes, after three stellar outings by backup rookie Cam Talbot.
Despite Talbot’s strong play, the Rangers need to gain momentum on the back of
their franchise player in Lundqvist, which Head Coach Alain Vigneault hopes
starts in Tampa Bay.
the early injury to defender Anton Stralman during the last game, the Rangers
recalled rookie defender Conor Allen from Hartford. With bruising defenseman
Dylan McIlrath sidelined with a knee injury (the same knee that kept him at bay
for almost all of last season), Allen has stepped up in his place and earned
the right to try his luck at the NHL level.
remains day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.
positive news as well out of the Garden is the pending return to oft-injured
defenseman Marc Staal. Reports are Staal has been skating and may make an
appearance back in the lineup on the road trip. While it’s doubtful Staal
returns for the Tampa Bay game, it is an outside possibility that the Rangers
could dress seven defensemen.
for their opponent, the Lightning have exceeded expectations this season and
have established themselves as a legitimate threat within the conference.
by veteran sniper Martin St. Louis and a resurgent Valtteri Filppula, the
Lightning have climbed the standings and sit comfortably in second place in the
their strong play and coming of age is center Steven Stamkos and defenseman
Victor Hedman. Each has grown into their roles and are no longer rookie status,
but rather established NHL players.
goal, the Lightning have been backstopped by Ben Bishop with a solid 1.93 GAA
and three shutouts.