Originally written on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 9/30/14
AP

The Rangers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-2, last night in Raleigh to improve to 41-15-6 on the season and earn their 88th point in the Eastern Conference standings. With 62 games now in the books after Thursday's victory, only 20 remain on the regular season schedule as the Blueshirts get closer and closer to clinching a playoff spot. Tonight they will be looking for points 89 and 90, which would put them well ahead of the pace to not only clinch a playoff spot, but also home ice advantage as well. 

New York has won three consecutive games coming into tonight's fourth and final meeting with the Tampa Bay Lightning this season. They've taken two out of three previous match-ups, with the most recent one being a 4-3 victory at Madison Square Garden back on February 9. Brad Richards scored the overtime winner against his former club after the Rangers tied late to force an extra period of hockey. 

Tampa Bay, meanwhile, is the middle of a playoff push with only 19 games remaining on their schedule including tonight's. The Blots currently sit in 12th place in the Eastern Conference with 64 points, which leaves them six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot that is held by the Winnipeg Jets at the moment. That's a wide spread to cover, no doubt, but the Lightning have won two straight and six out of their last ten. They were dead last in the Conference back in December, but they've been able to climb out of the hole they dug themselves and make it this far. What's to say they cannot complete the full rebound by April? 

Marty St. Louis has 4 goals and 3 assists in four games since re-joining a line with Steven Stamkos, so those two, as always, will be the duo to watch for the Bolts. With some key names out of the lineup right now, they are expected to carry most of the load, so if the Rangers can stop them, there's a good chance they win this game. 

It's funny because the Rangers' defense was questioned following the trade deadline when their only move was acquiring John Scott of the Chicago Blackhawks. However, since then, they've only allowed two goals in two games including Monday's shutout of the New Jersey Devils at MSG. They've also kept the shot totals to a very low number lately, which has made the job of their goaltender much easier. 

Marty Biron was that man last night, but Henrik Lundqvist will return to the cage for tonight's tilt. Lundqvist recorded his 30th win of the season on Monday and will only be looking to add to that total from this point on. With how dominant he's been, he's on pace to break some records; some of which he's already broken. 

Besides Lundqvist, no other lineup changes are expected tonight. That, though, depends on the status of defenseman Michael Del Zotto. Del Zotto left Thursday's game after taking a hit along the boards in the second period. His hip, which he hurt in a prior game, seems to be the problem, but it's unknown as of now whether it will keep him out of this one. 

Also, captain Ryan Callahan will not be in the lineup for a second straight game with a bruised foot. He was on crutches and wearing a boot on his foot as of last night. 

New York Rangers (Probable) Lineup

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Pacquiao to have surgery to repair 'significant' shoulder tear

Chris Paul ruled out for Game 1 against Rockets

Stephen Curry thanks father in touching MVP speech

Lawrence Taylor's son pleads guilty to statutory rape

49ers FB Bruce Miller charged with vandalism

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Winston snubbed ESPN out of draft interview

Report: Some Colts players unhappy with first-round pick

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff: Focus is on Julio Jones contract

Irvin on Seahawks not picking up option: ‘F— that option’

Brandon Prust rips referee, accuses him of on-ice trash talk

LeBron James ditched headband to look more like teammates

Five overhyped NFL Draft storylines that didn't play out

WATCH: Chris Johnson wants to play for the Cowboys

WATCH: Chewbacca throws out 1st pitch at Red Sox game

WATCH: Kyrie Irving carves up Bulls' defense for layup

WATCH: Metallica goes Jimi Hendrix for national anthem

Brandon McCarthy shares disturbing info about himself

Ole Miss fan got pregnant because of upset over Alabama

Willie Cauley-Stein legally changes middle name to 'Trill'

Marcus Mariota welcomed to Tennessee with billboard

Five takeaways from the first round of the NBA playoffs

NFL has a Los Angeles Rams webpage

10 undrafted free agents who could become NFL stars

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Cauley-Stein changes middle name to 'Trill'

NFL has Los Angeles Rams webpage

10 undrafted free agents to watch

Report: Winston snubbed ESPN

Life without Love: The new-look Cavs

Drafted player changes Twitter name to ‘Pick 245′

Floyd Mayweather Punch Out mock video game is great

Report: Steph Curry to be NBA MVP

Kelly: Tebow here to compete for job

Tony Allen booed for being rude?

Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods break up

Pacquiao fought with injured shoulder?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.