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Rangers' McDonagh may be out against Lightning

New York defenseman injured Monday vs. Blue Jackets; Tampa Bay can clinch playoff berth with a point

by Sean McCullen @McBrooklyn77 / Staff Writer

LIGHTNING (45-29-5) at RANGERS (44-26-9)

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, SNO, SNP

Season series: The Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers have split two games, with each winning on the road. Dominic Moore has two goals and an assist to lead New York. Anton Stralman and Valtteri Filppula each has a goal and an assist, and Nikita Kucherov has two assists for Tampa Bay.

Lightning team scope: Tampa Bay could have clinched a Stanley Cup Playoff berth by earning a point Monday but lost 5-2 at the New York Islanders. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy likely will start after Ben Bishop allowed five goals on 23 shots in Brooklyn before being pulled; Vasilevskiy made saves on all 13 shots he faced in relief. The Florida Panthers, who won 4-3 at the Toronto Maple Leafs, lead the Lightning by four points for first place in the Atlantic Division. "Obviously, you want to clinch as fast as you can," forward Ryan Callahan said. "You want to try to climb in the standings so it's disappointing. We need to be better." With leading goal-scorer Steven Stamkos out 1-3 months after surgery Monday to treat a blood clot near his right collarbone, the Lightning had Alex Killorn, Filppula and Ryan Callahan up front, and Victor Hedman and Jason Garrison on the points on their top power-play unit against the Islanders. The second power-play unit had Tyler Johnson, Brian Boyle and Ondrej Palat up front, and Kucherov and Nikita Nesterov on the points.

Rangers team scope: New York clinched a playoff berth with a 4-2 win at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday, but defenseman Ryan McDonagh was injured in the first period. "At this time, he'll be re-evaluated tomorrow," coach Alain Vigneault said after the game. "We're in that phase here where we're 'upper-body,' 'lower-body,' so we're calling it 'an upper-body.'" McDonagh has missed six games because of injury this season. Chris Kreider scored his 20th goal to put New York ahead 1-0 in the first period. It is his second consecutive 20-goal season. The Rangers, who are three points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for second place in the Metropolitan Division, are one of three NHL teams with five 20-goal scorers (San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals).

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