GAME: Tampa Bay Lightning (12-6-4-1) at New York Rangers (10-9-5-2).
TIME: Sunday, 5 p.m. EST.
After playing nine of their last 11 games on the road, the New York Rangers
return to Madison Square Garden to open a two-game homestand against the Tampa
New York, which boasts a 6-3-2-2 mark at home this season, went winless on
the first four games of the 11-game stretch (0-2-2), but managed a respectable
4-2-1 mark the rest of the way, including Thursday's emotional 4-2 victory over
the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
Brian Leetch scored a pair of goals and Anson Carter added another as the
Rangers opened an early three-goal lead before holding on in the third period.
New York lost forward Jamie Lundmark for up to eight weeks during the victory
as he was the victim of an illegal hit by Islanders captain Michael Peca.
"What Peca did to Lundmark is not called for," said Rangers coach and
general manager Glen Sather. "There's a kid who just started to make his
career in the NHL, and Peca knees and puts him out."
The Rangers climbed back above the .500 mark with Thursday's win. They will
try to win consecutive games for the first time since beating Ottawa and Tampa
Bay from Nov. 23-25. New York has yet to put together three straight wins this
The Lightning ended a season-high six-game winless streak with Saturday's
3-1 victory over Buffalo. Nikolai Khabibulin made 37 saves and Dave Andreychuk
scored for the second time in as many games as Tampa Bay ended an 0-4-2 skid.
Andreychuk played in his 1,538th game, two short of tying John Bucyk for
eighth place on the all-time list.
Tampa Bay has allowed two goals or fewer in 18 of its 23 games this season,
going 11-2-4-1 in those contests.