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Standings: Lightning (23-24-5), Rangers (33-13-5)
NYR Leading Scorer: Marian Gaborik (26-17-43)
TBL Leading Scorer: Steven Stamkos (35-23-58)
NYR Goaltender: Martin Biron (13 GS, 1.95 GAA, .920 SV%)
TBL Goaltender: Mathieu Garon (36 GS, 2.88 GAA, .900 SV%)
Rangers Lines (probable):
Artem Anisimov-Derek Stepan-Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky-Brad Richards-Brandon Prust
Ruslan Fedotenko-Brian Boyle-Ryan Callahan
Mike Rupp-John Mitchell-Carl Hagelin
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Michael Del Zotto
Steve Eminger-Anton Stralman
Biron gets the start.
Scratches/Injuries: Mike Sauer (concussion), Jeff Woywitka (AHL conditioning), Wojtek Wolski (AHL conditioning), Stu Bickel (healthy)
Preview: Boy that call the other night still stings. But it’s another day, and another game against the Lightning, innovators of the 1-3-1 neutral zone trap. Suit has broken down their 1-3-1 and how it can be beat. It’s a matter of execution, specifically on the powerplay.
Steve Eminger returns to the lineup tonight, at the expense of Stu Bickel. Expect these two to rotate often, as they play very different games. Eminger is in tonight as Tampa isn’t really the physical team that New Jersey is. Bickel’s foot speed was exploited a few times the past few games, and TB is a fast team. Hence, Eminger is playing.
The last time these two squared off, the Rangers lost in a shootout. That came less than a week after the Rangers came out on top 4-2. This is the third of four meetings between the two. With the Lightning barely breathing in the playoff picture, these are two points the Rangers should be getting.
Crazy Thought: Two powerplay goals. Yes…two.
Opponent’s Blog: Lightning Hockey Blog
Game time is 7:00pm on MSG, AM1050, and XM213.