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Preview: Lightning at Rangers

Forwards Ryan Callahan or Nikita Kucherov could play for Tampa Bay; goalie Antti Raanta starts for New York

by Dan Rosen @DRosenNHL / NHL.com Senior Writer

LIGHTNING (5-3-0) at RANGERS (5-3-0)

7 p.m. ET; MSG, SUN, TVA Sports, NHLN, NHL.TV

 

Lightning team scope

The Tampa Bay Lightning sent forward Cory Conacher back to Syracuse of the American Hockey League on Sunday, opening the possibility that right wing Ryan Callahan could make his season debut or right wing Nikita Kucherov could return after missing the game against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday with an upper-body injury. Callahan hasn't played because he has been recovering from offseason hip surgery. Callahan, Kucherov and defenseman Matt Taormina, who has been scratched for the five games since he was recalled from Syracuse on Oct. 19, were the only three skaters on the ice Sunday. It's also possible that coach Jon Cooper could use Taormina and go with seven defensemen, a lineup configuration he has used many times in previous seasons. Cooper was not available to the media Sunday morning. Goalie Ben Bishop is expected to get the start after serving as the backup to Andrei Vasilevskiy on Saturday. The Lightning have lost back-to-back games in regulation by 3-1 scores.

 
Rangers team scope

New York Rangers goalie Antti Raanta will make his second start of the season. He allowed four goals on 31 shots in a 7-4 win against the San Jose Sharks at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 15. "It's been a while, but there's been good time in practice and we have been working on some small things," Raanta said. "I feel good in practice and I just have to bring that to the game and get a good one." Raanta has never faced the Lightning. Left wing Chris Kreider will miss his fourth consecutive game. However, Kreider skated with the full team Sunday and is expected to practice Monday. Coach Alain Vigneault said he's confident Kreider will play against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. The Rangers are coming off of a 3-2 loss at the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.

 

Lightning projected lineup

 

Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - Jonathan Drouin

Alex Killorn - Tyler Johnson - Ryan Callahan

Vladislav Namestnikov - Valtteri Filppula - Brayden Point

Cedric Paquette - Brian Boyle - J.T. Brown

Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman

Jason Garrison - Andrej Sustr

Braydon Coburn - Nikita Nesterov

Ben Bishop

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Scratched: Matt Taormina

Injured: Nikita Kucherov (upper body)

Rangers projected lineup

Pavel Buchnevich -- Mika Zibanejad -- Mats Zuccarello

Jimmy Vesey -- Derek Stepan -- Rick Nash

Michael Grabner -- Kevin Hayes -- J.T. Miller

Brandon Pirri -- Oscar Lindberg -- Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonagh -- Dan Girardi

Marc Staal -- Nick Holden

Brady Skjei -- Kevin Klein

Antti Raanta

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratched: Adam Clendening

Injured: Chris Kreider (neck spasms), Josh Jooris (shoulder)

 

Status report

Vigneault said the schedule lined up for Raanta to get the start in place of Lundqvist. The Rangers are going into the third game of a stretch of eight games in 15 days. ... Vigneault said he wasn't 100 percent certain that the defense pairs listed above, which are the ones the Rangers showed in the morning skate, would be the pairs they use in the game. He said he was still in the process of breaking down the Lightning's game against the Devils on Saturday and still had to talk with assistant coach Jeff Beukeboom, who is in charge of the defense.

 

Who's hot

Zuccarello scored two goals against Carolina on Friday to give him four for the season. … McDonagh has assists in six consecutive games.

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