The Rangers have won two in a row. If they win tonight, in the immortal words of Lou Brown in Major League 2: "That's called a winning streak, it has happened before."
It won't be an easy task against the Lightning, who have a 5-1-4 record at home this year, and are 5-2-3 in their last ten games.
As we told you yesterday, Bobby Sanguinetti was brought up from the Hartford Wolfpack, and will make his NHL debut tonight in place of Wade Redden, who is expected to miss a week with an apparent shoulder injury. Looks like Sangs will pair with Gilroy, with Gilroy moving to the left side.
#54 / Defenseman / New York Rangers
Feb 29, 1988
Ales Kotalik and Henrik Lundqvist are playing tonight, according to Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants.
Lines for tonight are about the same as Wednesday night, with Kotalik sliding into Voros' spot probably:
Christopher Higgins-Vinny Prospal-Marian Gaborik
Sean Avery-Artem Anisimov-P.A. Parenteau
Enver Lisin-Chris Drury-Ryan Callahan
Donald Brashear-Brian Boyle-Ales Kotalik/Aaron Voros
The Tampa Tribune has a story on John Tortorella that shows his other side.
Don't forget, while the focus has been on Torts' coming back to Tampa, Vinny Prospal will also be returning to the St. Pete Times Forum for the first time since the Lightning bought out his contract. I think we can expect him to play with a big chip on his shoulder tonight as well.
Ok. let's take a look at the Bolts after the jump.......
Lightning Leading Scorer:
#91 / Center / Tampa Bay Lightning
Feb 07, 1990
|2009 - Steven Stamkos||22||15||11||26||4||10||6||1||2||0||69||21.7|
Lightning Record: 9-6-7 (3rd place, Southeast Division)
Head Coach: Rick Tocchet
SBNation home of the Tampa Bay Lightning: Raw Charge
Notes from Yahoo Sports:
After making his season debut on Sunday in Atlanta, defenseman Mike Lundin was sent back to AHL Norfolk on Monday, only to be recalled to Tampa on Wednesday to play against Toronto. Because of his contract status, Ludin is not subject to waivers until he either spends 30 days with Tampa or appears in 10 games.
Tampa Bay suffered its first regulation loss in 10 homes games at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Lightning are the last team in the Eastern conference to suffer a home loss in regulation.
A 4-3 loss to Toronto is the first time Tampa Bay has lost in regulation to the Leafs in 11 games. The Lightning had been 8-0-2 in the previous 10 meetings.
The four goals allowed by goaltender Antero Niittymaki against Toronto matched a season high Niittymaki had done one other time on Oct. 17 in Pittsburgh. The loss was also the second this season suffered in regulation by Niittymaki in 11 starts.
Lightning co-owner subject to probe. (Toronto Globe and Mail)
The Lightning are coming off a loss at home to the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-3 on Wednesday night (yikes). Cassie over at Raw Charge has the full recap.
Things to watch for:
The Rangers penalty kill is now first overall, which will make it tough on Tampa's struggling power play.
The Lightning's penalty has also been bad, they are 25th overall in the league. Rangers power play is 8th overall. Rangers look to have a big edge on special teams.
Rangers are 9-3-0 when they score first, Tampa is 6-1-2 when they get on the board before their opponent.
The Lightning have three different players averaging better than a point a game: Ryan Malone, Martin St.Louis, and Steven Stamkos. And oh yeah, Vincent Lecavalier is pretty good too.
Mike Smith is 0-2-1 lifetime against the Rangers, with a GAA of 2.92. Henrik Lundqvist is 4-0 for his career vs. Tampa with an astounding GAA of 1.48.