Found February 02, 2013 on
Fox Sports Florida:
Game time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: Sun Sports
With an explosive offense leading the way, the Tampa Bay Lightning are off to one of the NHL's most impressive starts. Meanwhile, the New York Rangers are trying to breathe life into what looks like one of the league's worst offenses.
The Lightning can notch a six-game winning streak for the first time in two seasons on Saturday night when they host the Rangers.
Tampa Bay (6-1-0) is averaging a league-best 5.3 goals per game, scoring four or more in five straight contests. The Lightning showed little sign of slowing down on Friday, beating Winnipeg 8-3 for their most goals since another 8-3 victory against Phoenix on Feb. 23, 2011.
Although Tampa Bay's offense stars primarily the same players as last year's club that tied for eighth with 2.83 goals per game, rookie Cory Conacher is a huge exception. Conacher continued his impressive start with two goals against Winnipeg, and is tied with Steven Stamkos for the team lead with five goals. Stamkos is among the league leaders with 14 points and has scored a goal in each of his last four games.
Vincent Lecavalier and Ryan Malone also have four goals each for the Lightning, who have a chance at the first 6-0 home start in franchise history.
"You just try to ride the wave," said Stamkos, the runner-up in points with 97 last season. "You know it probably can't last forever. But whether it's an individual streak or team streak, you just try to ride the confidence that each individual brings game in and game out. It's enjoyable, it's fun to come to the rink when you're winning and playing well."
Overshadowed by all the offense has been goaltender Anders Lindback. After allowing seven goals in his first two games, Lindback has posted a 2.50 goals-against average in four straight wins.
The offense of the Rangers (3-4-0) enters Saturday on practically the opposite end of the spectrum. New York has been held to two goals or fewer in four games, but had won three of four before being shut out 3-0 by visiting Pittsburgh on Thursday.
The Rangers rank near the bottom of the league with 2.3 goals per game. Star forward Rick Nash no goals in his last five contests and one on the season.
Not helping their cause is the loss of captain Ryan Callahan, who is expected to be out 10-14 days with a shoulder injury suffered in a win against Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Discipline has also been a big issue for the Rangers, who are averaging 18:51 penalty minutes a game. They committed a too many men on the ice penalty Thursday for a third straight contest.
"We need to be stronger mentally," coach John Tortorella said. "It's a mindset, and things have been too up and down - it's been a roller coaster. We are not at that level we need to be at consistently enough."
An ineffective power play is also hurting the Rangers, who have scored three times on 28 chances (10.7).
Tampa Bay is 6-1-1 in the last eight meetings, but each matchup has been decided by two goals or fewer.
Henrik Lundqvist has one win in his last seven starts (1-2-4) against the Lightning despite a 2.79 GAA.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Victor Hedman has been one of the best defenseman so far in the 2013 NHL season. Image Credit: Associated Press
Two years ago, after his entry-level contract was set to expire, the Tampa Bay Lightning rewarded, no, gave Victor Hedman a five-year, $20M contract extension. At the time, Hedman hadn’t done much to deserve such money, but the Lightning had faith in the man they’d...
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Rick Nash scored a go-ahead goal early in the third period and the New York Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Saturday night.
The Rangers took a 2-1 lead on Nash's second goal of the season, coming at 3:04 of the third period. He skated in from the right wing boards, eluded Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman and jammed the puck past goalie Mathieu...
An MRI on the foot of Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier revealed only a bone bruise, and he is listed as day-to-day as of Sunday. Lecavalier, 32, has four goals and seven assists in eight games this season for Tampa Bay. The Lightning's next game is against the Flyers in Philadelphia on Tuesday, and Tampa Bay plays the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.
TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rangers will face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at Tampa Bay Times Forum (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Plus; Radio: Bloomberg Radio), to begin a two-game road trip. The Blueshirts currently rank fourth in the Atlantic Division standings, and rank 11th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 3-4-0 (6 [...]
One thing I have found interesting is to try to identify the worst regular in the NHL in a season. It is interesting to see what kind of player continues to be given playing time despite failing with it. So far this season I think our inept leader has been Brian Lee of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Lee is a big hard working defenceman who hits and blocks shots. He is a former first...
Rob Carr/Getty Images
The Rangers opened the season 3-4-0. Sure, it’s not the start everyone had envisioned, especially with both Ryan Callahan and Chris Kreider out with injuries, but it’s only marginally worse than last year’s 3-2-2 start through seven games. That start included four games against non-playoff teams. This year the Rangers played the Penguins twice, the Flyers...
TAMPA – It took a back-up goaltender, of all things, to finally slow down the Tampa Bay Lightning. Martin Biron made 30 saves behind a stout New York Rangers defense on Saturday and held on for a 3-2 win that broke the Tampa Bay Lightning’s five-game win streak and sent them to their first loss in five home games. Scoring was minimal -- partly because just three penalties...
Since the Rangers obtained Brandon Mashinter from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Tommy Grant, he has done nothing but impress for the CT Whale.
The 6' 4" Mashinter has 2g, 4a in his seven games with the Whale and has been more than willing to drop the gloves when necessary, as seen here in last night's 5-4, OT loss to Bridgeport (2:15 mark)...
Off to their best start in eight seasons, the Tampa Bay Lightning aren't showing any signs of letting up.
Their success shouldn't come as much of a surprise to the Winnipeg Jets.
Looking to match its longest winning streak from all of last season, Tampa Bay - unbeaten at home - tries to continue its recent domination of Winnipeg on Friday night.
After splitting their first...
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TAMPA -- It took a backup goaltender, of all things, to finally slow down the Tampa Bay Lightning and to settle down the New York Rangers. Martin Biron made 30 saves behind a defensive effort that left difficult-to-impress head coach John Tortorella "really happy" Saturday, and the Rangers held on for a 3-2 win that broke the Lightning's five-game win streak. Tampa...
When it comes to winning a hockey game in the NHL, teams must be consistent in their play and have some stability whether it is with their offense, defense or goaltending.
Tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the New York Rangers got the stability in goal they needed from back-up Martin Biron (30 saves) and consistently put pucks on net in a 3-2 victory in Tampa Bay for their...
Backed by strong performances from Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin, the New York Rangers skated past the Tampa Bay Lightning on the road, 3-2. For a full box score, head over to Yahoo! Sports.
...Welcome to the season Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin. Excellent, hard-nosed performances by them to end respective goal droughts. Felt Taylor Pyatt really drove that second line tonight...
Can everybody just take a deep breath?
Yes, 3-4-0 is not the way you want to start a season, but give the Rangers some slack. They have had to begin their year with six games against three teams in the top-five in the Eastern Conference.
New York played the Bruins, Flyers and Penguins twice with a contest versus the Maple Leafs in between.
Now, this isn’t to say that the Blueshirts...
The Tampa Bay Lightning continued their high-scoring ways.
Cory Conacher had two goals and an assist to lead the Lightning past the Winnipeg Jets, 8-3, on Friday night.
''We've got a lot of guys hungry for goals,'' Conacher said.
Tampa Bay also got goals from Steven Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier, Nate Thompson, Teddy Purcell, Ryan Malone and Benoit Pouliot. Stamkos...