NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, February 2nd
(All times Eastern)
New York Rangers (3-4-0) at Tampa Bay Lightning (6-1-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers certainly looked like a different team
in their first game without captain Ryan Callahan. They will try to get back
on track Saturday evening against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first of two
straight on the road.
The Rangers won the first two of a three-game homestand, outscoring Toronto
and Philadelphia by a 7-3 margin. However, the victory over the Flyers on
Tuesday was costly as Callahan suffered a left shoulder subluxation that is
expected to sideline the forward for 10-to-14 days.
New York closed out its residency on Thursday and could not generate any
offense in a 3-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"It wasn't the game we wanted to follow up a couple of wins with, that's for
sure," said New York defenseman Dan Girardi, whose club had won three of four
but lost its sixth straight to the Pens.
Henrik Lundqvist registered 26 saves in defeat, while New York was outshot
11-6 in the first period and went 0-for-4 on the power play in the game.
"We were kind of playing too tentative, I think," said Rangers defenseman Ryan
McDonagh. "We weren't playing with that aggressive mindset we had the last two
The Lightning have certainly had the right mindset at home this season as they
are a perfect 5-0 in Tampa and will try to wrap a five-game residency on
Saturday without a loss.
Tampa Bay leads the NHL with 37 goals, an average of 5.3 per game, and has
netted at least five goals in each game at home this season. It set a season
high for goals in a game on Friday, routing the Winnipeg Jets 8-3.
Rookie Cory Conacher scored twice and had an assist, giving him five goals and
12 points over his first seven NHL games. Steven Stamkos and Vincent
Lecavalier each had a goal and two assists, with Stamkos having notched a
point in every game this season. He has five goals and nine assists in that
"Another good game for our team," Conacher remarked. "It's just one of those
games where we had the lead and our power play was outstanding tonight and our
weapons came out to play.
Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot added a goal and an assist apiece for
the Lightning, who have won five straight. Netminder Anders Lindback added an
assist while notching 26 saves in the victory.
Though these two clubs split four meetings last season, the Lightning are
6-1-1 in the past eight encounters, with five of those games going past
Tampa Bay has won three of the last four played at home in this series.
02/02 10:29:08 ET