LIGHTNING (9-9-1) AT RANGERS (8-8-2)
TV: RDS, SUN, MSG
Last 10: Tampa Bay 3-6-1; New York 4-4-2
Season series: This is the third and final meeting of the season between the teams. The Rangers won the first two games in regulation, 3-2 in Tampa on Feb. 2 and 5-1 in New York on Feb. 10.
Big Story: This game could see the return of Rick Nash to the Rangers lineup after a
four-game absence with an undisclosed injury. He practiced Tuesday and Wednesday, but his status likely won't be confirmed until Thursday morning at the earliest.
Lightning: A home date Tuesday with the Buffalo Sabres should have been the perfect tonic for the sagging Lightning. Coming into the game, the Sabres had lost six of seven and four straight and were showing no signs of life under new coach Ron Rolston.
But the Lightning offense didn't do enough in a 2-1 loss. They had six power-play chances and failed to convert on any of them.
"Four-for-41 – that isn't good enough; that's not going to win you anything," Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said, referring to the team's power-play woes over the last three weeks. "We had a lot of looks, great looks, and a lot of good plays going on, but that was not good enough to score tonight."
Rangers: A sloppy second period put the Rangers in a two-goal hole against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night, and they never recovered. The Rangers would cut 3-1 and 4-2 leads to a goal, but they couldn't draw even and lost 4-3.
"I think that if we get some people back and we have that type of effort, some of the things we do correctly, I think we'll get on our way," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "We can say all the things we want to say – we just have to try to stay with it, come to work tomorrow, see what our health is and go about our business."
Injury Report: Lightning defenseman Sami Salo (lower-body) will not play. ... Nash (undisclosed), Del Zotto (lower body) and McDonagh (head) all took part in practice Wednesday. Asham (back) was absent.
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