The New York Rangers (30-31-6, 66 points) are set to face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning (46-17-4, 96 points) tonight. It's the first of their two game road trip through Florida. This is the second of three meetings between these two teams; the Rangers won in overtime in their first matchup in November.
It's the first time Vladislav Namestnikov will be playing against the Lightning. He was moved from Tampa Bay in the deal that sent him, prospects Libor Hajek and Brett Howden, a 2018 first-round pick, and conditional 2019 first-round pick to New York in exchange for J.T. Miller and Ryan McDonagh.
On the other side of the ice, Miller will be facing off against the Rangers for the first time in his career. He'll be skating on the second line with Yanni Gourde and Brayden Point. McDonagh's debut playing against of the Rangers will have to wait until the end of the season, as he's still out with injury.
In net for the Rangers will be Henrik Lundqvist (25-22-5, 0.916 save percentage, and 2.88 goals against average). As for the Lightning, it'll be their starting goaltender, Andrei Vasilevskiy (39-12-3, 0.925 save percentage, 2.44 goals against average).
For the Rangers, Mika Zibanejad returns from the flu and to his place centering the first line. The second and third lines remain in tact, while David Desharnais moves back down to the fourth line, and Peter Holland comes out as a healthy scratch. The defense pairs remain the same, but Kevin Shattenkirk is nearing his return.
#NYR lines:— Matt Calamia (@MattCalamia) March 8, 2018
Kreider - Zibanejad - Buchnevich
Spooner - Hayes - Fast
Vesey - Namestnikov - Zuccarello
McLeod - Desharnais - Carey
Skjei - Gilmour
Staal - Pionk (Shatty rotating both)
O’Gara - DeAngelo
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