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New York
Rangers
Tampa Bay
Lightning

22 SOG
30 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
NYR
TBL
game preview

Rangers can't afford to overlook Lightning

Friday, 04.02.2010 / 7:30 PM

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

RANGERS (34-32-10) at LIGHTNING (31-34-12)

Last 10: New York 5-4-1; Tampa Bay 3-7-0

Season Series: This is the fourth and final meeting between the teams. The Rangers have won the last two meetings after dropping the first matchup.

Big Story: It's the hungry, desperate Rangers against a Lightning team with nothing much to play for. Good news for the Rangers, right? Ask the Penguins about that -- they lost 2-0 at home to Tampa on Wednesday.

Team Scope:

Rangers: Down 2-0 to the lowly Islanders on Tuesday, it looked the Rangers were about to receive the knock-out blow to end their playoff hopes. But four straight goals kept hope alive for at least a little while longer, as the Rangers emerged with a 4-3 win.

"We need wins as much as possible and if that's what it takes, I'm going to do that," Marc Staal, who scored in Tuesday's win, said about adding offense from the blue line. "Lately I've found more opportunity to jump in the rush. Our forwards are making room at there."

The Rangers are four points behind a trio of teams for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.

Lightning:
Down and out, on the road against the Stanley Cup-champion and Atlantic Division-leading Penguins? No problem for the Lightning.

Mike Smith made 27 saves and Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist to help the Lightning get the surprising 2-0 win, just their third victory in 10 games.

"As a team we were just battling through moments," said defenseman Mike Lundin, who logged a career-high 29:48 of ice time in the win. "It was just guys coming together and battling for each other all night long."

Who’s Hot:
Tampa's Steve Downie has 4 goals and an assist in his last six games. … Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto has 2 goals and 4 assists in his last 5 games.

Injury Report:
For the Rangers, Ryan Callahan, Sean Avery and Brian Boyle are out. … Tampa's Ryan Malone is out. Defensemen Victor Hedman and David Hale are questionable.

Stat Pack: The Rangers have posted a record of 8-7-3 vs. the Southeast Division; the Lightning have registered a 7-10-2 mark vs. the Atlantic Division. … Friday will begin the Rangers' 12th of 13 back-to-back sets this season. New York has posted a record of 4-7-0 in the front-end of those games.

Puck Drop:
"The guys that are getting it done, they're going to get an opportunity. No matter if they're call-ups, first-round picks, whatever, star players, we need guys contributing." -- Rangers coach John Tortorella


2009-2010 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 02 '10NYR 5 at TBL 0B. Prust
Feb 14 '10TBL 2 at NYR 5E. Christensen
Jan 19 '10TBL 2 at NYR 8C. Drury
Nov 27 '09NYR 1 at TBL 5K. Foster
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Gaborik70404080+1035143
V. Prospal69183755+93263
O. Jokinen76143448+27533
B. Dubinsky63182139+44655
R. Callahan74191837-114693
M. Del Zotto7492635-223041
S. Avery69112031+016031
C. Drury71121830-132911
M. Staal7661925+64402
A. Anisimov76121123-53212
A. Kotalik4581422-183843
E. Christensen5261622+82411
D. Girardi7661521-54611
M. Rozsival7631821+06811
M. Gilroy6941115+02301
E. Lisin576814-11800
C. Higgins556814-93201
W. Redden6921214+62700
B. Prust63279+615701
B. Boyle70426-64701
P. Parenteau16246-2000
J. Shelley51066+210400
A. Voros35134-57510
A. Eriksson14033+0200
D. Byers5101+13100
D. Brashear36011-97300
I. Heikkinen7000+2000
B. Sanguinetti5000+0400
C. Potter3000+0200
C. Locke1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
H. Lundqvist6832-26-915819722.41.920
A. Auld239-7-3625962.94.896
S. Valiquette62-3-0191283.74.852
C. Johnson51-2-1111352.35.919
M. Zaba10-0-02163.53.875
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. St. Louis77276390-61277
S. Stamkos77464288-136215
V. Lecavalier77234467-146152
S. Downie75222446+1420671
R. Malone65212344-95977
K. Foster6683038-54031
A. Tanguay7592635-22832
V. Hedman7341620-37200
J. Halpern559817-132721
A. Meszaros765914-154421
T. Purcell554913-71011
M. Ohlund6201313-65900
M. Lundin443710-31600
B. Bochenski232810-2010
S. Veilleux73369-154600
N. Thompson66279-185400
P. Szczechura51527-141811
T. Fedoruk46336-83500
M. Walker62235-98800
J. Wright48235-91800
Z. Konopka69224-724801
D. Hale39044-22500
P. Ranger8112-2600
M. Smaby33022-42700
M. Parrish15022-4400
L. Krajicek23011-42100
D. Miller14000-3200
B. Jones14000-51000
R. Craig3000+0500
V. Mihalik3000-2000
M. Lashoff1000+01500
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
A. Niittymaki4720-18-511913332.78.911
M. Smith3911-17-711110793.16.897
D. Tokarski20-0-03164.09.813