Lightning at Rangers: Game 9
Time: 7 pm Eastern Time
Location: Madison Square Garden
Broadcast/Streaming: NHL Network
Opponent SBNation Site: Blueshirt Banter
Not to hit the panic button, but things aren’t pretty right now. A six-game road trip was going to be tough as is, but now the Lightning’s resilience will be tested. This is not only the end of back-to-backs during a stretch of three games in four nights in the New York metro area, but now there’s a streak. A winless streak of two, in which the Bolts have scored just two goals while giving up six.
The Lightning have to — they must — start the game better. Whatever pregame routine and superstitions the players have need to be changed up because they can’t keep letting their opponent dictate the game while they play catchup. Steven Stamkos pointed out as much after Saturday’s loss.
In post game, Stamkos referenced #Bolts have scored just one goal in 1st periods, can't keep starting slow if they want to win.— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) October 30, 2016
It also doesn’t help when the power play can’t get anything going. The Lightning have had seven opportunities in the two losses and scored zero goals. It certainly doesn’t help that they’ve been without Nikita Kucherov, who didn’t even play five minutes of Thursday’s game before leaving with what’s been called an upper body injury. He’s listed day to day.
The Rangers, meanwhile, are coming off their own loss, 3-2 against the very bad Hurricanes on Friday. The Rangers helped the Canes snap their winless streak — they hadn’t won a single game so far this season (two were overtime losses). It was a classic case of a good team thinking they didn’t have to bring their best in order to defeat a lowly team.
This is a game of two teams that need to prove themselves and get back to winning. Should be a good one.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - Jonathan Drouin
Alex Killorn - Tyler Johnson - Vladislav Namestnikov
Cory Conacher - Valtteri Filppula - Brayden Point
Cedric Paquette - Brian Boyle - J.T. Brown
Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman
Jason Garrison - Andrej Sustr
Braydon Coburn - Nikita Nesterov
New York Rangers
Mats Zuccarello - Mika Zibanejad - Pavel Buchnevich
Jimmy Vesey - Derek Stepan - Rick Nash
Mike Grabner - Kevin Hayes - JT Miller
Brandon Pirri - Oscar Lindberg - Jesper Fast
Ryan McDonagh - Nick Holden
Marc Staal - Kevin Klein
Brady Skjei - Dan Girardi